Chapter 1 introduction a s cientific a pproach to geography
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Chapter 1: Introduction A S cientific A pproach to Geography. Book Authors: Daniel R. Montello Paul C. Sutton. Prepared for: GEOG 4020, Geographic Research Methodology University of Denver , Department of Geography. Chapter 1 Outline.

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Chapter 1 introduction a s cientific a pproach to geography

Chapter 1: IntroductionA Scientific Approach to Geography

Book Authors:

Daniel R. Montello

Paul C. Sutton

Prepared for: GEOG 4020, Geographic Research Methodology University of Denver , Department of Geography


Chapter 1 outline
Chapter 1 Outline

  • Section 1: Overview of the Logic and Philosophy of Science

    • Characteristic metaphysical beliefs of scientists

    • Nonscientific ways of knowing

    • Goals of science

  • Section 2: History and Philosophical Systems of the Discipline of Geography: Natural Science, Social Science and Humanities

    • Geographical thought

    • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary

    • Concept application

GEOG 4020


Section 1 overview of the logic and philosophy of science
Section 1Overview of the Logic and Philosophy of Science

GEOG 4020


Characteristic metaphysical beliefs of scientists
Characteristic Metaphysical Beliefs of Scientists

  • Realist philosophy

    • Realism, sentient beings, organization

  • Only continuously connected and forward causality

    • A causes B through continuous travel between the space and time separating the two

  • Simplicity

    • Parsimony

    • Nomothetic and idiographic

GEOG 4020


Characteristic metaphysical beliefs of scientists1
Characteristic Metaphysical Beliefs of Scientists

  • Skepticism

    • Doubt that theories in absolute terms will be identified

    • Role of chance as an explanation of results

  • Quantitative thinking

    • Observation and logic

    • Use of mathematics and computers

GEOG 4020


Nonscientific ways of knowing
Nonscientific Ways of Knowing

  • Humanities

    • History, philosophy, languages and literature

  • Logical application of ideas to understand reality

    • Specifically the reality of human existence

  • Does not employ systematic empirical observation

    • Informally analyze texts and symbolic artifacts of human thought

  • Often concerned with promoting ideas of human value and mortality

GEOG 4020


Nonscientific ways of knowing1
Nonscientific Ways of Knowing

  • Science is an ideal that is complicated by human nature and therefore rarely attained

  • One can accept the value of the scientific approach without believing that science is the only valid and useful way of knowing

    • Being nonscientific does not mean the approach is irrelevant or without value

  • Science is not the road to all truth and enlightenment

GEOG 4020


Goals of science
Goals of Science

Continuum of scientific goals:

Control the phenomena to bring about desired changes

Explanation of causal relations among entities and events

Prediction of phenomena

Description of basic phenomena

Goal 4

Goal 3

Goal 2

GEOG 4020

Goal 1


Goals of science1
Goals of Science

  • Basic research

    • No specific application

    • Expression of human curiosity and intellectual mastery

    • Concerned with the first three goals of science: description, prediction and explanation

  • Applied research

    • Focuses on the first three goals of science as well as control

    • Research used to meet a specific need or problem

GEOG 4020


Section 2History and Philosophical Systems of the Discipline of Geography: Natural Science, Social Science and Humanities

GEOG 4020


History of geographical thought
History of Geographical Thought

  • Geography – study of the earth as the home of humanity

  • Early need for geography: military and trade

    • Geodesy – measurement of the earth

  • Regional geography

    • Characterization of places and regions

      • Geomorphological, climatological, cultural, and economic

    • Positivist approach

      • A truth exists and can be identified

GEOG 4020


History of geographical thought1
History of Geographical Thought

  • Quantitative revolution

    • Mid 20th Century

    • Extensive use of mathematics

      and computers

  • Post – positivist emergence in the late 20th century

    • Phenomenoloy

    • Marxism

    • Feminism

    • Social theory

    • Postmodernism/poststructuralism

GEOG 4020

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Current state of geography
Current State of Geography

Human Geography

Physical Geography

Pluralistic Discipline

  • Overlaps with

    • Sociology

    • Economics

    • Anthropology

    • Psychology

    • Political Science

    • History

    • Literature

    • Philosophy

    • Art

  • Overlaps with

    • Geology

    • Biology

    • Ecology

    • Oceanography

    • Hydrology

    • Climatology

    • Atmospheric science

GEOG 4020


Concept application
Concept Application

  • What are some characteristics of a scientific approach to geography?

  • What are some important limitations of a scientific approach to knowing?

  • What are the four scientific goals and how do they relate to each other?

  • What are major developments in ideas and approaches of the discipline of geography during the 20th century?

GEOG 4020


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