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  1. Functionalism Without Selectionism: Charles Elton's "Functional" Niche and the Concept of Ecological Function.Antoine C. Dussault - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-16.
    This article offers an analysis of ecologist Charles Elton’s “functional” concept of the niche and of the notion of function implicitly associated with it. It does so in part by situating Elton’s niche concept within the broader context of the “functionalist-interactionist” approach to ecology he introduced, and in relation to his views on the relationship between ecology and evolution. This involves criticizing the common claim that Elton’s idea of species as fulfilling functional roles within ecological communities committed him to an (...)
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  • The Myth of Frederic Clements’s Mutualistic Organicism, Or: On the Necessity to Distinguish Different Concepts of Organicism.Thomas Kirchhoff - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (2):1-27.
    In the theory and history of ecology, Frederic Clements’s theory of plant communities is usually presented as the historical prototype and a paradigmatic example of synecological organicism, characterised by the assumption that ecological communities are functionally integrated units of mutually dependent species. In this paper, I will object to this standard interpretation of Clements’s theory. Undoubtedly, Clements compares plant communities with organisms and calls them “complex organisms” and “superorganisms”. Further, he can indeed be regarded as a proponent of ecological organicism—provided (...)
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