By Pauline Couper

This ism-busting textual content is an vastly obtainable account of the foremost philosophical and theoretical principles that experience educated geographical examine. It makes summary principles specific and obviously connects it with genuine practices of geographical study 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 / severe rationalism / Marxism and demanding realism/ social constructionism and feminism / phenomenology and post-phenomenology / postmodernism and post-structuralism / complexity / ethical philosophy.
  • Uses examples that tackle both physical geography and human geography.
  • Use a well-known and real-world instance - ‘the seashore’ - as an access aspect to uncomplicated questions of philosophy, returning to this to demonstrate and to give an explanation for the hyperlinks among philosophy, conception, and method.

All chapters finish with summaries and resources of additional interpreting, a thesaurus explaining key phrases, routines with commentaries, and net assets of key articles from the journals Progress in Human Geography and Progress in actual Geography. A Student's advent to Geographical Thought is a totally available scholar A-Z of idea and perform for either human and actual geography.

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Such 'physics envy' (Massey, 1999; Lane, 2001) can act to underplay the spatio-temporal particularities of specific places (specific meanders in specific rivers, for example) , and to limit our abilities to understand and explain the particularities of phenom­ ena. In other words, the 'natural laws' of physics may offer generalisable explanations, but limit our capacity to acknowledge and explain geographical differences. Since the late 1990s, though, there appears to have been growing appreciation, in geography and elsewhere, that a blanket notion of positivism as inherently bad is misguided.

The increase in the number of districts experiencing war is both its meaning and the evidence by which it is verified. In essence, O'Loughlin and Witmer are assessing the truth claims of syn­ thetic statements on the basis of empirical evidence. The large data set (over 1 4,000 events) used to provide this evidence is characteristic of positivism, which seeks generalisations rather than focusing on individual instances and their specificities. The researchers also examine the relation between phenomena: between violent events and population density; violent events and forest cover; violent events and trans­ port links (the Federal highway) .

Among geographers, Barnes (2009) points out that Marx (whose work informed the development of radical geography, as discussed in Chapter 4) used quantitative methods, and Sheppard (200 1 ) and Poon (2003, 2004, 2005) explain that quantita­ tive methods have developed considerably beyond those that were available in the 1960s, being now better able to allow for local difference, diversity and multiplicity. Such methodological advancement leads Wyly (2009) to argue for a re-recognition of the contribution that positivist research could make to a critical geography, not least in terms of developing the kinds of arguments that policymakers will notice.

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A Student’s Introduction to Geographical Thought by Pauline Couper

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