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  1. Indexically Structured Ecological Communities.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):501-522.
    Ecological communities are seldom, if ever, biological individuals. They lack causal boundaries as the populations that constitute communities are not congruent and rarely have persistent functional roles regulating the communities’ higher-level properties. Instead we should represent ecological communities indexically, by identifying ecological communities via the network of weak causal interactions between populations that unfurl from a starting set of populations. This precisification of ecological communities helps identify how community properties remain invariant, and why they have robust characteristics. This respects the (...)
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  2.  22
    Why Wake the Dead? Identity and De-Extinction.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2020 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 33 (3-6):571-589.
    I will entertain and reject three arguments which putatively establish that the individuals produced through de-extinction ought to be the same species as the extinct population. Forms of these arguments have appeared previously in restoration ecology. The first is the weakest, the conceptual argument, that de-extinction will not be de-extinction if it does not re-create an extinct species. This is misguided as de-extinction technology is not unified by its aim to re-create extinct species but in its use of the remnants (...)
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  3.  21
    Invasive Species and Natural Function in Ecology.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2020 - Synthese 1 (10):1-19.
    If ecological systems are functionally organised, they can possess functions or malfunctions. Natural function would provide justification for conservationists to act for the protection of current ecological arrangements and control the presence of populations that create ecosystem malfunctions. Invasive species are often thought to be malfunctional for ecosystems, so functional arrangement would provide an objective reason for their control. Unfortunately for this prospect, I argue no theory of function, which can support such normative conclusions, can be applied to large scale (...)
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    Invasive species and natural function in ecology.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9315-9333.
    If ecological systems are functionally organised, they can possess functions or malfunctions. Natural function would provide justification for conservationists to act for the protection of current ecological arrangements and control the presence of populations that create ecosystem malfunctions. Invasive species are often thought to be malfunctional for ecosystems, so functional arrangement would provide an objective reason for their control. Unfortunately for this prospect, I argue no theory of function, which can support such normative conclusions, can be applied to large scale (...)
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    Can Communities Cause?Christopher Hunter Lean - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):59.
    Lynch et al. propose an extremely useful framework to assess microbiome research. By utilising advances in the causation literature, they argue that many of the claims in microbiome research are ‘weak or misleading’ as these claims lack stability, specificity, or proportionality. In the final paragraph before the conclusion they entertain and rapidly dismiss the ‘ecological version’ of microbiomes, in which microbiome properties are emergent from their constituent populations and can fulfil Koch’s postulates. I assess the possibility of microbiomes having emergent (...)
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  6. General Unificatory Theories in Community Ecology.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (1):125-142.
    The question of whether there are laws of nature in ecology has developed substantially in the last 20 years. Many have attempted to rehabilitate ecology’s lawlike status through establishing that ecology possesses laws that robustly appear across many different ecological systems. I argue that there is still something missing, which explains why so many have been skeptical of ecology’s lawlike status. Community ecology has struggled to establish what I call a General Unificatory Theory. The lack of a GUT causes problems (...)
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    Authenticity and Autonomy in De-Extinction.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2022 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 25 (2):116-120.
    Eric Katz in Zombie Arguments defends the thesis authenticity is indispensable to conservation. I agree. However, I argue authenticity appears in degrees and can be reclaimed by populations through their continuing evolutionary responses to the world. This means that interventions that diminish the value of a population through reducing their authenticity can be permitted in limited cases. When our actions retain the remaining authentic features in a threatened population we should allow such a diminishment as authenticity can be reclaimed in (...)
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