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ERIC Number: ED205448
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Humanistic Geography and Education for Human and Environmental Values.
Meir, Avinoam; And Others
This monograph defines humanistic and positivistic geography, explores the dichotomy between these two thought systems, and suggests how geographers can work toward creating a humanistic positivism. Positivistic geography is interpreted as being based on a concept of 'rational' man who perceives a single objective world which has only spatial characteristics and is perceived uniformly by all human beings. Humanistic geography is interpreted as a thought system which has emerged as a reaction to positivism's stress on objective space and rationalism. Humanistic geography--which is based on existential philosophy--is characterized by a focus on human thought processes, recognition of the importance of the interaction of people and the environment, and the consideration that all human phenomena must be analyzed without making any presuppositions about them. According to humanistic geographers, the world is subjective, complex, and full of variety, rather than objective, simple, and uniform. Ideally, the humanistic geographer investigates the world as it is, unlike the positivistic geographer who begins by simplifying assumptions about the world. Rather than reinforcing differences between these two approaches to geography, geographers should recognize the need for mutual compromise. For example, geographers can accept the basic focuses of humanistic geography on interaction of people and the environment and on the relativity of an object rather than its absoluteness and can, at the same time, recognize the importance of positivism's methodological sophistication in areas such as creating generalizations, theories, and models. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A