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A Student’s Introduction to Geographical Thought by Pauline Couper

By Pauline Couper

This ism-busting textual content is an vastly obtainable account of the major philosophical and theoretical rules that experience trained geographical study. It makes summary principles particular and obviously connects it with actual practices of geographical learn and information.

Written with aptitude and fervour, A Student's creation to Geographical Thought:

  • Explains the main principles: clinical realism, anti-realism and idealism / positivism / serious rationalism / Marxism and important realism/ social constructionism and feminism / phenomenology and post-phenomenology / postmodernism and post-structuralism / complexity / ethical philosophy.
  • Uses examples that handle both physical geography and human geography.
  • Use a well-known and real-world instance - ‘the seashore’ - as an access element to uncomplicated questions of philosophy, returning to this to demonstrate and to give an explanation for the hyperlinks among philosophy, thought, and method.

All chapters finish with summaries and assets of extra analyzing, a word list explaining keywords, routines with commentaries, and net assets of key articles from the journals Progress in Human Geography and Progress in actual Geography. A Student's creation to Geographical Thought is a totally obtainable pupil A-Z of idea and perform for either human and actual geography.

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Additional resources for A Student’s Introduction to Geographical Thought

Example text

Statements express the way things are. A statement can be true in one of two ways: 1. An analytic statement is one that is logically true, simply by virtue of its mean­ ing. Examples would be: 'The Earth is a planet'; 'reggae is a form of music'; 'a boulder is made of rock'; or 'the All Blacks are New Zealan d's national rugby team '. This kind of statement is sometimes referred to as a priori knowledge: it is independent of (and so 'prior to') experience. Discussion of a priori statements is the domain of logic and maths.

Recognition of this is perhaps the first step in defining a common language for science. 4 Positivist geography and its critics Two key points follow from the account of positivism above. The first is that positiv­ ism encompasses naturalism, the notion that social phenomena can be studied using the same methods that are used to study natural (physical/ chemical/biological) phe­ nomena. For geography, being a discipline that encompasses both, this is particularly convenient. The second point is that positivism's starting point was a description of how (natural) science works, which then led to prescriptions for how social science should work.

David Harvey's longstanding association with Marxist geography is a prominent example. But many do not start with a distinct philosophical position, and this is perhaps particularly true among physical geog­ raphers. Just as it can be difficult to place some songs within any given musical genre, some research can be difficult to place within a particular philosophical movement. This book, then, aims to explain some of the key ideas that have influenced geog­ raphy and what they mean for research in practice.

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