Philosophical Topics 47 (1):105-123 (2019)

Authors
James Justus
Florida State University
Abstract
Perhaps no concept has been thought more important to ecological theorizing than the niche. Without it, technically sophisticated and well-regarded accounts of character displacement, ecological equivalence, limiting similarity, and others would seemingly never have been developed. The niche is also widely considered the centerpiece of the best candidate for a distinctively ecological law, the competitive exclusion principle. But the incongruous array and imprecise character of proposed definitions of the concept square poorly with its apparent scientific centrality. I argue this definitional diversity and imprecision reflects a problematic conceptual indeterminacy that challenges its putative indispensability in ecology.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind
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DOI 10.5840/philtopics20194716
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