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Philosophisch-ethische Rezensionen
(Erscheinungsdatum der rezensierten Bücher: 20. und 21. Jahrhundert)

James Justus, The Philosophy of Ecology. An Introduction, Cambridge 2021.

Although called an introduction this book is not a book for non-academics. The language level is scientific and some sort of biological-mathematical background is necessary to follow the flow of thoughts properly, mathematical-scientific equations are interspersed at times also sometimes in longer text passages. These are high obstacles for an undiscerning reader. In this case I'm not recommend this book. I myself read it with interest only intermittently, because I find it for my purposes too specific and wouldn't buy it a second time. These are the chapters: Introduction, 1. The Ecological Niche (the author comes to the conclusion that the niche concept is dispensable), 2. Distinctively Ecological Laws and the Reality of Biological Communities (some argues there are no such ecological laws e.g. because of paucity of predictive success and that the models and experiments lack sufficient generality and that ecological systems are simply too complex. Others maintain that ecology has uncovered regularities that possess a kind of necessity and therefore merit the label law of nature), 3. The Balance of Nature (analyses indicate an underlying lack of conceptional clarity about ecological stability), 4. Modelling in Ecology (to learn anything significant about natural systems, ecologists have to represent them, e.g. in mathematical models), 5. Biodiversity (the most common focus in ecology is to designate the diversity of biological systems at all organizational levels), 6. Progress in Applied Ecology (the author mentions especially two algorithmic breakthroughs in information processing: place-prioritization algorithms and geographical information systems), 7. Fact and Value in Applied Ecology (attempts to clarify the proper role of ethical values in ethically driven disciplines of ecology). The author outlines the areas of ecological-philosophical discourse as follows: conception issues in the history of ecology, characterizing problematically unclear ecological concepts (e.g. biodiversity und stability), whether there are distinctively ecological laws, reduction in ecological science, the role of mathematical modeling, the relationship of evolutionary theory and ecology, the role of non-epistemic values in applied sciences. In my Amazon Paperwhite e-book reader the book stops at 66 % (appendixes included). That is a no-go.

Jürgen Czogalla, 15.08.2021