Article

Geography of Knowledge

Diarmid Finnegan

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199874002-0057
Geography of Knowledge

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“Geography of knowledge” is, at first glance, an unexpected combination of terms. “Geography” suggests descriptions of the Earth. “Knowledge,” on the other hand, implies an immaterial realm of ideas and human cognition. Locating knowledge or tracing its migrations unsettles these common perceptions and points to the material and social nature of knowing. This project has generated a lively scholarly industry centered largely on scientific and economic knowledge but animated in part by the “spatial turn” that has influenced scholars across the humanities and social sciences. Not surprisingly, then, the origins of interest in the geographies of knowledge are plural and somewhat inchoate. A range of theorists lies in the background, but these and other sources of conceptual inspiration have been unevenly developed, depending in part on the immediate topic of interest and the intellectual location of the researcher. Even so, it is possible to identify a sustained attempt to disrupt presumptions about knowledge that exempt it from the intractably situated and unevenly distributed nature of cognition. Indeed, it is noteworthy that an interest in the spatialities of knowledge is most evident in work directed at forms of knowledge often thought to be exempt from the changeable influence of social situations or cultural contexts. “Earthing” knowledge of physics or finance in particular locations or tracing the specific ways in which such knowledge moves from one location to many others forms the basis of a critical project that invites interest and generates controversy.

Article.  6662 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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