Theoretical ecology as etiological from the start.
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Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, ISSN: 1879-2499, Vol: 60, Page: 67-76
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- Arts and Humanities
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The world's leading environmental advisory institutions look to ecological theory and research as an objective guide for policy and resource management decision-making. In addition to the theoretical and broadly philosophical merits of doing so, it is therefore practically significant to clear up confusions about ecology's conceptual foundations and to clarify the basic workings of inferential methods used in the science. Through discussion of key moments in the genesis of the theoretical branch of ecology, this essay elucidates a general heuristic role of teleological metaphors in ecological research and defuses certain enduring confusions about work in ecology.