A transcript of a work-in-progress presentation about ontology, epistemology, and pedagogy— specifically, my ontology, epistemology, and pedagogy. More specifically, how they might be affected by our current time of crisis.
On the presumption that the dynamic flux of ecological and social complexities cannot be well understood from an outside view…
Although stable systems may be extremely rare as a fraction of the complex ecological systems being sampled (as shown in the 1970s theoretical work of Robert May), they can be readily constructed over time by the addition of populations from a pool of populations or by elimination of populations from systems not at a steady state. The implications of such a constructionist perspective could challenge not only ecologists, but also theorists in all fields that make use of models without a process of construction over time of the complexity of the situation studied.
A paper to appear in the journal Ecological Complexity centers not so much on advancing this perspective, but on two consequent puzzles:
Just as it is said that the index of a book is the last chance for the author to shape how the book is read, a glossary can convey the sensibility of a book. Below is the glossary for Taylor, Peter J. (2005) Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement. The place in the book where the terms are introduced or elaborated on is given in parentheses. Items in italics are described elsewhere in the glossary. Continue reading
Abstract of updated article to appear in Encyclopedia of the Life Sciences,
Although philosophy of ecology was slow to become established as an area of formal philosophical interest, there is a rich history of developing and debating conceptual frameworks in ecological and environmental science. A key challenge in conceptualising ecological complexity is to allow simultaneously for particularity, contingency and structure – structure, moreover, that changes, is internally differentiated, and has problematic boundaries. In contrast to ambitions of earlier decades for identifying general principles about systems and communities, ecologists now widely assert historical contingency, nonequilibrium formulations, local context and individual detail. Given that all organisms – humans included – live in dynamic ecological contexts, philosophy of ecology raises more general questions about conceptualising the positionality of humans and other organisms in the dynamic flux of their intersecting worlds.
A 22-minute youtube of ecological philosophy, taken to refer to conceptual frameworks in ecological and environmental science.
Given the gaps in my knowledge of the literature, especially recent research, I would be grateful for any suggestions listeners/readers can provide, however brief. For example, I would be helped by getting notes of significant publications you think I might have omitted, categories (or, in my terms, impulses) I have overlooked or misconstrued, and so on. (If you are really interested a draft of the article that the youtube gives an overview of can be viewed at http://ptaylor.wikispaces.umb.edu/EcologicalPhilosophy.) Continue reading