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Ellsworth Huntington

(1876—1947)


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(1876 –1947) A major figure in the development of human geography in the United States in the early part of the twentieth century. Huntington is best known for his advocacy of environmental determinism, particularly in regard to the impact of climate and climate change on civilizations. These positions were both controversial and easily overstated by his critics. In his later work, Huntington adopted a position closer to that of probabilism—the belief that the environment makes certain responses more probable than others. This left a greater margin for human choices and thus for historical differences among civilizations. He was also a strong defender of scientific methods in the study of human geography and a major contributor to the institutionalization of geography in the United States. Huntington's main works include The Pulse of Asia (1907), Civilization and Climate (1915), and The Human Habitat (1927).

From Dictionary of the Social Sciences in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Sciences.


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