Over the past twenty years, geography as an academic discipline has become more and more reflective, asking the key questions 'What are we doing?' 'Why are we doing it?'. These questions have, so far, been more enthusiastically taken up by human geography rather than physical geography. Contemporary Meanings in Physical Geography aims to redress the balance.
Written and edited by a distinguished group of physical geographers, Contemporary Meanings in Physical Geography comprises of a collection of international writer's thoughts which reveal personal motivations, and look at tensions in the worlds of meaning in which physical geography is involved. How are the meanings of the physical environment derived? Is the future of physical geography one where the only, or at least the dominant, meanings are framed in the contexts of environmental issues.
Covering a diverse and lively selection of topics, the contributors of this book offer guides to the contemporary debates in the philosophy of physical geography, and introduce the reader to its wider cultural significance. This book is an essential companion to anyone studying, or with an interest in, physical geography.
Table of Contents
Part I Setting the Scene. Previous actors and current influences: trends and fashions in physical geography
Meaning, knowledge, constructs and autobiography in physical geography. Part II: Personal Meanings. Meaning through fieldwork
Reflective on personal motivations
Where did it happen for you? Wondering about geomorphology
Goodbye to geographical reality. Part III: Research Meanings. Constructing biogeographies: on utopias, dystopias and heteropias
Climatology and meaning
The natural science of geomorphology
Implications for an integrated geography
What it means to be a pebble in a highly turbulent stream
Self-organisation and complexity: a new perspective on landscape dynamics
Intergrated environmental systems and ethics: a case study of river basin management
Geomorhological knowledge and landscape knowledge in resource management. Part IV: Futures. 'The writing's on the walls': On style, substance and sellnig physical geography
Conclusion: contemporary meaning in physical geography.
This is a timely and provocative collection of essays. Their (the editors) great achievement is opening an immensely important debate and providing insights into why people do physical geography and why they worry about it's position within the academic world and beyond....the issues raised are relevant to all brands of physical geographer and the book deserves to be widely read by students, teachers and researchers.
This book will inspire, provoke and educate its readers at a fundamental level. From first to last, it challenges and explores the relationships that physical geographers have with the world and their discipline.
Progress in Physical Geography