By Stuart C Aitken, Gill Valentine
Approaches to Human Geography is the fundamental pupil primer on idea and perform in Human Geography. it's a systematic evaluation of the main rules and debates informing post-war geography, explaining how these principles paintings in perform. keeping off jargon - whereas conscious of the rigor and complexity of the guidelines that underlie geographic wisdom – the textual content is written for college students who've now not met philosophical or theoretical techniques earlier than. this can be a starting advisor to geographic examine and perform.
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Extra resources for Approaches to Human Geography
What is gained is a strong program for the socially constructed self, and what is lost is the autonomous, intentional agent. This transformation is especially evident in discussions of place and space. For example, Robert Sack, in his book Homo Geographicus (1997), provides a theoretical scaffolding for a humanist conception of self and place. In his argument place and self are mutually constitutive. Each may be seen as influenced by forces of nature, society, and culture, but the self as autonomous agent is the core mechanism of place-making and in turn place facilitates and constrains the agent.
The place-making actions of individuals and groups transform environments, from the simple act of consumption to the potentially more consequential and larger-scale acts of collective agencies, such as communities, corporations, and governments. The humanist geographer recognizes the socially or humanly constructed nature of these places but does not characterize this world solely in terms of impersonal forces of nature and society and the power of some groups to dominate all groups. To the extent that individuals are aware of their roles and responsibilities as placemakers, they are autonomous agents able to make moral decisions about the value of places in relation to the goals of human projects.
Like with most other ‘isms’ and ‘ologies’ there are various different forms of positivism. The two most commonly discussed are logical positivism based on verification and critical rationalism based on falsification. Logical positivism was developed by the Vienna Circle (a loose collection of social scientists and philosophers) in the 1920s and 1930s. Like Comte, they posited that the scientific method used in the traditional sciences could be applied directly to social issues – that is, social behaviour could be measured, modelled and explained through the development of scientific laws in the same way that natural phenomena are examined.