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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

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

slide10
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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