Human ecology

Human ecology is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. The scientific philosophy of human ecology has a diffuse history with connections to geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, zoology, and natural ecology. Human ecology is the subdiscipline of ecology that focuses on humans. More broadly, it is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. The term 'human ecology' appeared in a 1907 work on sanitary practices in the home and surrounding environments. The term also appeared in a sociological study in 1921 and at times has been equated with geography. The scientific philosophy of human ecology has a diffuse history with advancements in geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, zoology, family and consumer science, and natural ecology. A less formal history of ecology can be traced to the Greeks and a lengthy list of developments in natural history science. Ecology also has notably developed in other cultures. Traditional knowledge, as it is called, includes the human propensity for intuitive knowledge, intelligent relations, understanding, and for passing on information about the natural world and the human experience. The term ecology was coined by Ernst Haeckel in 1866 and defined by direct reference to the economy of nature. Like other contemporary researchers of his time, Haeckel adopted his terminology from Carl Linnaeus where huma

ecological connections were more evident. In his 1749 publication, Specimen academicum de oeconomia naturae, Linnaeus developed a science that included the economy and polis of nature. Polis stems from its Greek roots for a political community (originally based on the city-states), sharing its roots with the word police in reference to the promotion of growth and maintenance of good social order in a community. Linnaeus was also the first to write about the close affinity between humans and primates. Linnaeus presented early ideas found in modern aspects to human ecology, including the balance of nature while highlighting the importance of ecological functions (ecosystem services or natural capital in modern terms): "In exchange for performing its function satisfactorily, nature provided a species with the necessaries of life":66 The work of Linnaeus influenced Charles Darwin and other scientists of his time who used Linnaeus' terminology (i.e., the economy and polis of nature) with direct implications on matters of human affairs, ecology, and economics. An early and influential social scientist in the history of human ecology was Herbert Spencer. Spencer was influenced by and reciprocated his influence onto the works of Charles Darwin. Herbert Spencer coined the phrase survival of the fittest, he was an early founder of sociology where he developed the idea of society as an organism, and he created an early precedent for the socio-ecological approach that was the subsequent aim and link between sociology and human ecology.