I think that while we may strive for a more practical
view of ecology that can be tailored to resolve the problems of our present
, the original
idea of trying to find a Grand Unified Theory
is correct. After all, in today's society things are more and more fragmented
, and this filters through to almost everything we see and understand from an intellectual point of view.
An example of this is the modularisation of subjects, and the separation out of particular fields of interest. While this may be useful in the first instance, to get a better view of complex systems, it is worth noting that this may actually hinder progress in the long because a leap of understanding from context to context needs to be made in order to piece things back together. The GUT of ecology and the whole environmentalist movement's incredible success in the last few decades has stemmed from the fact that it makes us more aware of the whole system, and points out that the distinctions we make between different parts of nature are often purely arbitrary, and often counter productive.
I believe the same attitude would be fruitful in many areas, like psychology, politics, and other fields of science.