The niche

Noûs 33 (2):214-238 (1999)
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Abstract
The concept of niche (setting, context, habitat, environment) has been little studied by ontologists, in spite of its wide application in a variety of disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. What follows is a first formal theory of this concept, a theory of the relations between objects and their niches. The theory builds upon existing work on mereology, topology, and the theory of spatial location as tools of formal ontology. It will be illustrated above all by means of simple biological examples, but the concept of niche should be understood as being, like concepts such as part, boundary, and location, a structural concept that is applicable in principle to a wide range of different domains
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