1st Edition

Ecological Investigations
A Phenomenology of Habitats

ISBN 9781138300378
Published August 26, 2019 by Routledge
188 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

These investigations identify and clarify some basic assumptions and methodological principles involved in ecological explanations of plant associations. How are plants geographically distributed into characteristic groups? What are the basic conditions that organize groups of interspecific plant populations that are characteristic of particular kinds of habitats? Answers to these questions concerning the geographical distribution of plants in late 19th century European plant geography and early 20th century American plant ecology can be distinguished according to differing logical assumptions concerning the habitats of plant associations. Through an analysis of several significant case studies in the early history of plant ecology, Konopka distinguishes a logic of habitats that conceives of plant associations in an analogy to individual organisms with a logic that conceives of plant associations in a reciprocal relation to habitat physiography. He argues that a phenomenological conception of the logical attributes of habitats can philosophically complement the physiographic tradition in early plant ecology and provide an attractive alternative to standard reductionism and holism debates that persist today. This wide ranging and original analysis will be valuable for readers interested in the history and philosophy of ecology.

Table of Contents


Introduction: On the Empirical and Logical Foundations of Ecology

1. Varieties of Succession: A Genealogy of Early 20th Century Plant Ecology

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Freshwater Sand Dune Succession

1.3 The Logic of Plant Associations in Cowles’ Account of Dune Succession

1.4 Nebraska Prairie Succession

1.5 The Logic of Plant Associations in Clements’ Account of Prairie Succession

1.6 Inland Lake Succession

1.7 The Logic of Habitat Associations in Lindeman’s Account of Lake Succession

1.8 Conclusion

2. Logics of Habitat Fitness: A Genealogy of 19th Century Plant Geography

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Humboldt’s Physionomic Logic of Habitats

2.3 Warming’s Physiological Logic of Habitats

2.4 Conclusion

3. Kant’s Account of Organic Form: A Phenomenological Critique

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Kant’s Indispensibility Thesis

3.3 Kant’s Antinomy of Judgment

3.4 Mechanistic Explanations of Material Objects

3.5 Purposive Explanations of Animate Material Objects

3.6 Kant’s Resolution of the Antinomy

3.7 Kant’s Account of Unity in Critique of Pure Reason

3.8 Schemata in the Critique of Pure Reason

3.9 Schemata in the Critique of Judgment

3.10 Clarifications: Two Levels of Conceptualization

3.11 Unified Manifolds in General: Identity or Synthesis

3.12 Self-Organizing Manifolds: A Logic of Sense

3.13 Conclusion: Functional Analysis in Proximate Explanations

4. Husserl’s Logic of Fitness: Parts, Wholes, and Phenomenological Necessity

4.1 Introduction

4.2 The Problem of Necessity and Pure Logic

4.3 Parts, Wholes, and Necessary Fitness

4.4 Multi-level Generalizations

4.5 The Distinction Between Analytic and Synthetic Necessity

4.6 Correlational A priori and Intentionality

4.7 The A priori Bound to the Empirical and the Problem of Necessity

4.8 Conclusion: The Problem of Ecological Emergence

5. Environing Places and Geometric Space

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Newtonian Absolute Space and the Critique of Relative Rotational Movement

5.3 Pre-reflective Self-Awareness of the Lived Body

5.4 Kinaesthetic Sensations and Objectivity

5.5 Kinaesthetic Sensations and Habitat Situations

5.6 Motion and Relational Location

5.7 Idealization of Objective Space

5.8 Conclusion: On the Limitations of Objective Space



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Adam Konopka teaches in the philosophy department at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA). His research interests are primarily in phenomenology and the philosophy of science. He has published several articles in journals such as the New Yearbook in Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, Ethics, Policy, Environment, and Environmental Ethics.