Experiments in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Wilson, Brad
conference paper description
Most of the philosophical work done on experimentation has focused on the physical sciences, i.e., physics and chemistry. I consider to what extent this work is relevant to experimentation in ecology and evolutionary biology, and will identify some important differences between laboratory experiments and experiments in nature. I focus on the ontological and epistemological aspects of experiments in the physical sciences and the life sciences and argue that experiments in ecology and evolutionary biology provide knowledge of particular systems from which it is difficult to generalize.