Wednesday, 31 August 2017

Friday, 1 June 2018

Geography as the study of environment

Geography is the study of the physical environment, in relation to the human world. Geography as the study of environment, means that geography has deep links with the environment. Geography cannot be studied as an individual subject. It always have to be studied on the basis of our surrounding environment. 

As a consequence of Geography as the study of environment, it has given rise to a variety of concepts, which are said to have rooted deeply in the thinking of the philosophers and geographers in different forms.

The concepts that have aroused due to the link of Geography as the study of environment, are very crucial to know, as they plays an important role in our day to day life, which are very essential for us to know. Whatever we do, are ultimately based on the link of geography as the study of environment.

The concepts which have aroused due to the link of geography as the study of environment are, environmentalism, possibilsm, neo-determinism and cultural determinism. 


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Geography as the study of environment

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The Geography as the study of environment are been analyzed further below.

(a) Environmentalism 
 It is one of the important philosophies which persisted up to the second world war. On the basis of geography as the study of environment, the determinists, consider man as a passive agent on which physical factors are acting and determining his attitude and process of decision making. 

During the medieval period, this concept dominated the writings of the Arab geographers, who divided the world into seven terrestrial zones. Al-Masudi, Al-Idrisi were some of them. George Tathan and Immanuel Kant also explained the differences between people with reference to the land they lived in. Carl Ritter and Alexander Von Humboldt  also differentiated the mode of life of the inhabitance of mountains and plains.

 Friedrich Ratzel, who was the founder of New Determinism supplemented classical geography with reference to Social Darwinism. According to him, similar locations lead similar mode of life of the people. Ellen Churchill Semple, Ellsworth Huntington, Herbertson were the other followers of this concept.

(b) Possibilsm 
This concept was explained by Lucian Febvre as the stage of development of different so cities and their history. The possibilists, consider nature as a passive agent and has the influence of man in it in various ways. The work of man is the starting point of this concept. This concept was developed by Vidal-de-la-blache. In his studies, he minimized the influence of environment on the activities of man.
He tried to explain that the difference between groups of similar environment are due to the variations in attitudes, values and habits of the people. This concept was also popular in and outside France, where the supporters were Jean Brunhes and Carl Sover.

(c) Neo-determinism 
This concept was put forwarded by Griffith Taylor. He believed that the best economic program for a country to follow has in large part been determines by nature. The phrase, 'Stop and Go Determinism' expresses this concept. According to this phrase, man is able to accelerate, slow or so the progress of a country's development. 
The possibilities set by the environment are very fast and man has the right to choose. The possibilities offered by the nature is not equal. Some demand less for man while others meagre returns. The ratio between effort and return can be looked upon as the price nature extracts from man for the particular choice he makes. In no environment are possibilities limitless and for every choice a price must be paid.

(d) Cultural determinism 
Human interest, prejudices and group values vary across space. The modification of environment largely depend on our perceptions and process of decision making. According to American scholars, the significance to man of the physical and biotic features of his habitat is a function of the attitudes and technical skills of man himself. 
This concept is widespread among American geographers, among which is Edward Ullman. After the second world war, the school of cultural determinism became widespread in Austria, Holland and Sweden.

Thus, we got an analysis, of the concept of Geography as the study of environment. Geography studies all the phenomena of a particular place including the relationship of environment with human beings and other organisms. The concept of Geography as the study of environment is quite old. The subject matter of geography is one way or the other is related to environmental studies.

 There is no other discipline rather than geography that can study the environment better. Thus, we can conclude that geography as the study of environment is an important concept.

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