Ecologies, One and All: Singularity and Plurality in Dialogue

Anne Rademacher, Mary L. Cadenasso, Steward T.A. Pickett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay considers ecology in its singular and plural forms. It asks whether and how the knowledge forms generated by practitioners of the singular science of ecology might weave more fully into a robust plural analytic that is grounded in the acknowledgment of multiple ways of knowing, experiencing, and attributingmeaning to consequential connections between the human and the more-than-human world. AlthoughWestern science, with singular ecology as one of its many descendants, leaves an undeniable imprint, the essay aims to ask whether the contemporary, lived life of ecological science as postpositivist practice might be working in ways that, while imperfect, may be more legible and shared with scholars in the environmental humanities than is usually noted. It describes the knowledge base of the singular science of ecology, which in contemporary theory and practice consists of collections of disparate, complementary, or contradictory models-ecologies-in the plural, thus holding generality and infinite particularity in constant dialogue. The authors, two natural scientists and one social scientist, aim to provoke fresh discussions about the ways ecological analytics circulate in contemporary research and scholarly practice. The authors' goal is to further the essential work of more direct and clear conversation, translation, and mutual learning between scholars in the environmental humanities and biophysical ecology. They hold this to be essential as transdisciplinary initiatives endeavor to study, and better understand, how social and environmental change coproduce one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-140
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Humanities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • ecologies
  • ecology
  • ecosystem
  • nature
  • science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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