1st Edition

Contemporary Meanings in Physical Geography From What to Why?

Edited By Andre Roy, Stephen Trudgill Copyright 2003

    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.

    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.


    Andre Roy

    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.
    The Holocene

    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