The Truth is the Whole: Essays in Honor of Richard Levins

The Truth is the Whole: Essays in Honor of Richard Levins, edited by Tamara Awerbuch, Maynard Clark and Peter Taylor (2018)


Richard Levins (1930-2016) was an ecologist, evolutionary biologist, biomathematician, philosopher of science, complexity theorist, Marxist, and one-time tropical farmer. Key to all aspects of his thinking was a dialectical logic of process and change. His work provides a framework for the understanding of crises in environment and society and their analytic relationship with capitalism and imperialism, as well as the tools for the critique of biological determinist justifications for the existing structures of power. This collection of essays pays tribute to Levins by carrying forward his work in the development of the understanding of the dialectics of nature and society.

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Table of Contents
John Vandermeer, Objects of intellectual interest have real life impacts:
The ecology (and more) of Richard Levins

Dialectics in Wholistic Research
Antonio Bodini, The dialectics of sustainability
David Schwartzman, The dialectics of biospheric evolution
Julio Muñoz-Rubio, Dialectics and neo-Lamarckianism against the fetishism of genes
Luis Fernando Chaves, The dialectics of malaria bednet use in sub-Saharan Africa
Victor Wallis, Richard Levins and dialectical thinking
Peter J. Taylor, Changing science in heterogeneous environments

Political Ecology and Health
Doug Boucher, Class and the industrial revolution in agriculture
Robert G. Wallace & Colleagues, Did neoliberalizing West Africa’s forests produce a vaccine-resistant Ebola?
Cristina Possas, Reinaldo de Menezes Martins, and Akira Homma, Dealing with dengue, Zika, and related diseases in Brazil
Javier Sandoval Guzmán, Revolution, popular power, and disaster risk reduction in Cuba
David Bruck, The terms we use politically often impede the solutions to the environmental and related crises we face

Complex Systems
Peter J. Taylor, The hidden complexity of simple models, or Why theorists of all kinds should be troubled by unmodeled variables having dynamical lives of their own
Patricia A. Lane, Ecological skeletons: Excavating the bare bones of community= structure using loop analysis
Harold Heatwole, Trophic structure stability in insular biotic communities
Brian Rubineau, Levins lessons for intervening in complex social systems

Reminiscences and Tributes
Harold Heatwole, Rescue at Sandy Cay
Aurora Levins Morales, Your hand is on my hand
William Wimsatt, Philosophical revolutionary, exemplary mentor
Hilary Rose and Steven Rose, Liberation and gladioli
Leda M. Menéndez Carrera & Colleagues, Memoria imprescindible
Olga Mas, Comradeship and cooperation
Yrjö Haila, I’m with you—never mind the distance
Arturo Cervantes Trejo, Social and health problems as a complex whole
Tamara Awerbuch, An ecologist in Cuba: Citrus and camaraderie
Graciela Campos Escalante, “Theories that promote, justify, or tolerate injustice are wrong”


Richard Levins, Indo-semitic hymn to the earth