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Christopher Lean
University of Sydney
  1.  30
    General Unificatory Theories in Community Ecology.Christopher Lean - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    The question of whether there are laws of nature in ecology has developed substantially in the last 20 years. Many have attempted to rehabilitate ecology’s lawlike status through establishing that ecology possesses laws that robustly appear across many different ecological systems. I argue that there is still something missing, which explains why so many have been skeptical of ecology’s lawlike status. Community ecology has struggled to establish what I call a General Unificatory Theory (GUT). The lack of a GUT causes (...)
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  2. Ecological Hierarchy and Biodiversity.Christopher Lean & Kim Sterelny - 2016 - In Justin Garson, Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity. London: Routledge. pp. 56 - 68.
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  3. The Value of Phylogenetic Diversity.Christopher Lean & James Maclaurin - 2016 - In P. Grandcolas (ed.), Biodiversity Conservation and Phylogenetic Systematics. Springer.
    This chapter explores the idea that phylogenetic diversity plays a unique role in underpinning conservation endeavour. The conservation of biodiversity is suffering from a rapid, unguided proliferation of metrics. Confusion is caused by the wide variety of contexts in which we make use of the idea of biodiversity. Characterisations of biodiversity range from all-variety-at-all-levels down to variety with respect to single variables relevant to very specific conservation contexts. Accepting biodiversity as the sum of a large number of individual measures results (...)
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  4.  43
    Indexically Structured Ecological Communities.Christopher Lean - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):501-522.
    Ecological communities are seldom, if ever, biological individuals. They lack causal boundaries as the populations that constitute communities are not congruent and rarely have persistent functional roles regulating the communities’ higher-level properties. Instead we should represent ecological communities indexically, by identifying ecological communities via the network of weak causal interactions between populations that unfurl from a starting set of populations. This precisification of ecological communities helps identify how community properties remain invariant, and why they have robust characteristics. This respects the (...)
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  5. Ecological Kinds and the Units of Conservation.Christopher Lean - 2018 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    Conservation has often been conducted with the implicit internalization of Aldo Leopold’s claim: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.” This position has been found to be problematic as ecological science has not vindicated the ecological community as an entity which can be stable or coherent. Ecological communities do not form natural kinds, and this has forced ecological scientists to explain ecology in a different manner. Individualist approaches to ecological (...)
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