The “Balance of Nature” Metaphor and Equilibrium in Population Ecology

@article{Cuddington2001TheO,
  title={The “Balance of Nature” Metaphor and Equilibrium in Population Ecology},
  author={Kim Cuddington},
  journal={Biology and Philosophy},
  year={2001},
  volume={16},
  pages={463-479}
}
  • K. Cuddington
  • Published 1 September 2001
  • Biology
  • Biology and Philosophy
I claim that the “balance of nature” metaphoris shorthand for a paradigmatic view of natureas a beneficent force. I trace the historicalorigins of this concept and demonstrate that itoperates today in the discipline of populationecology. Although it might be suspected thatthis metaphor is a pre-theoretic description ofthe more precisely defined notion ofequilibrium, I demonstrate that “balance ofnature” has constricted the meaning ofmathematical equilibrium in population ecology.As well as… 
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