Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 185–206 | Cite as

Holism vs. Reductionism: Do Ecosystem Ecology and Landscape Ecology Clarify the Debate?

  • Donato Bergandi
  • Patrick Blandin


The holism-reductionism debate, one of the classic subjects of study in the philosopy of science, is currently at the heart of epistemological concerns in ecology. Yet the division between holism and reductionism does not always stand out clearly in this field. In particular, almost all work in ecosystem ecology and landscape ecology presents itself as holistic and emergentist. Nonetheless, the operational approaches used rely on conventional reductionist methodology.

From an emergentist epistemological perspective, a set of general 'transactional' principles inspired by the work of J. Dewey and J.K. Feibleman are proposed in an effort to develop a coherent ontological and methodological semantics.


Operational Approach Landscape Ecology Classic Subject Epistemological Perspective Ecosystem Ecology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donato Bergandi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patrick Blandin
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre Alexandre KoyréMuséum National d'Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d'Écologie GénéraleBrunoyFrance
  3. 3.Grande Galerie de l'ÉvolutionMuséum National d'Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire d'ethnobiologie-biogéographieParis Cedex 05France

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