Download e-book for iPad: A Century of Mathematics in America (History of Mathematics, by Peter Duren Richard A. Askey

By Peter Duren Richard A. Askey

ISBN-10: 0821801244

ISBN-13: 9780821801246

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Certainly 22 The Structure of the Argument ecologists have shown tremendous interest in evolution-based approaches to traditionally ecological domains of study; optimal foraging theory is an example. Textbooks that cover the standard ecological fare are often given titles like Evolutionary Ecology (Pianka 1983). Papers written from the perspective of evolutionary ecology frequent and sometimes dominate journals that have historically been venues for ecological work. One might be tempted to think that the phrase "evolutionary ecology" has become redundant, and that the appropriateness of a definition of ecology in terms of the struggle for existence is simply symptomatic of that fact.

Second, there are problems with the individuation of fields. As Bechtel (1986b) points out, the degree of disciplinary structure that can be distinguished depends on the level of resolution of the investigation - from the broad categories such as physics, chemistry, and biology at one extreme to Price's (1961) "invisible colleges" at the other. Except, perhaps, for the lowest level, turning up the resolution always reveals fields within fields. As we will see, this can generate foundational confusion in a number of ways.

A detailed investigation of the third and fourth objections is beyond the scope of the present work; however, I return to these issues for a brief look forward in the Epilogue. 7 Biotic Factors, Density Dependence, and the Balance of Nature On the face of it, the biotic bias objection seems to turn on straightforward empirical considerations. It is an empirical question whether organisms mostly struggle with one another or with the abiotic factors in their environment; whether, among the biotic relationships, competition is the dominant force; whether populations are regulated in such a way as to produce finely balanced communities.

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A Century of Mathematics in America (History of Mathematics, Vol 1) by Peter Duren Richard A. Askey


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