Article

Humanistic Geography

Casey D. Allen

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199874002-0015
Humanistic Geography

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Since its inception, humanistic geography has often been contested as a “real” discipline. Sometimes used (incorrectly, some critical theorists say) interchangeably with the concept of humanism because of its focus on the human in all its forms (e.g., agency, awareness, consciousness, creativity, etc.), humanistic geography focuses on products of human activity. Humanistic geography can also be seen as a way to understand those events considered valuable and meaningful to humans. Although usually seen as a specifically human geography pursuit, as philosopher, author, and geographer Yi-Fu Tuan alludes, it can (and should) also play a role in physical geography. Some physical geographers realize that “hard” science still includes humanistic tenets and advocate a need for infusing humanistic geography into that field. This new physical geography critique notwithstanding, humanistic geography is usually historically equated with the French School of Human Geography (such as the writings by Paul Vidal de la Blache) along with Neo-Kantianism and Robert E. Park’s Chicago School pragmatism, while also focusing on (sense of) place and the individual’s interpretation of place—although “people” and “humans” also collectively fall under its umbrella.

Article.  8346 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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