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.
Translating the philosophies of geography to an undergraduate audience is a task beyond many of us, but Pauline Couper succeeds superbly in A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought. Engaging and relevant, she never patronizes her audience nor trivializes the theories she discusses. A rare, genuinely student friendly text that preserves the complexity of its subject matter whilst allowing the student to engage with it on their own terms.