This ism-busting text is an enormously accessible account of the key philosophical and theoretical ideas that have informed geographical research. It makes abstract ideas explicit and clearly connects it with real practices of geographical research and knowledge.
Written with flair and passion, A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought:
Explains the key ideas: scientific realism, anti-realism and idealism / positivism / critical rationalism / Marxism and critical realism/ social constructionism and feminism / phenomenology and post-phenomenology / postmodernism and post-structuralism / complexity / moral philosophy.
Uses examples that address both physical geography and human geography.
Use a familiar and real-world example - `the beach' - as an entry point to basic questions of philosophy, returning to this to illustrate and to explain the links between philosophy, theory, and methodology.
All chapters end with summaries and sources of further reading, a glossary explaining key terms, exercises with commentaries, and web resources of key articles from the journals Progress in Human Geography and Progress in Physical Geography. A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought is a completely accessible student A-Z of theory and practice for both human and physical geography.
Pauline Couper is Head of Programme for Geography at York St John University, and has always maintained enthusiasm for the breadth of the discipline. With a PhD in fluvial geomorphology and professional experience in geoconservation, her research interests now lie predominantly in philosophy of geography and human/environment relations, particularly in terms of how geographical and environmental knowledges are developed and performed.
Introduction: Geographers at the beach Positivism: or, roughly, what you see is what you get Critical Rationalism: learning from our mistakes Marxism and Critical Realism: seeking what lies beneath Phenomenology and Post-phenomenology: the essence of experience or seeing a shark is different from seeing a dolphin Social Constructionism and Feminism: it's all down to us Structuralism, Poststructuralism and Postmodernism: life at the surface Complexity Theory: from butterfly wings to fairy rings Moral Philosophy and Ethics: right and wrong in Geography Thinking, Doing, Constructing Geography