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Publication Details

Efforts to Transform the Theoretical-Methodological Model of Geography

(Original title: Snahy o premenu teoreticko-metodologického modelu geografie)
Filozofia, 23 (1968), 1, 55-68.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
One of the most characteristic signs of contemporary endeavour of thought in geography is its transformation into a more exact science. This process evokes a tendency to investigate its own theoretical bases. The epistemological status of the model of geography prevailing up to now is based on the so-called exceptionalism, i. e., upon the assumption that every geographical phenomenon is singular by its essence and is not subject to the process of abstraction and generalization. This resulted in that geography had been profiled as an ideographical, empirical-descriptive science, without theoretical ambitions. W. Bunge shows in his work „Theoretical geography“ [5] that the exceptionalistic postulate of uniqueness of geographical phenomena is not adequate and endeavours to build geography as an abstract, theoretical discipline which yields many opportunities for using formalized languages, particularly mathematics. As the main forms of the process of transforming geography into a more exact science, the increasing influence and employment can be considered of mathematics, logics and cybernetics. The increasing use of semiology represent an accompanying phenomenon. Attention is paid, above all, to the application of cybernetics which brings about, besides formalization, also new conceptions of generalization. While geometry can be taken for an abstract theoretical correlate or meta-language of the chorobological aspect of geography, cybernetics and general systems theory of systems can be considered as an abstract theoretical correlate or meta-language of the synthetic aspect of geography. Cybernetics and general systems theory make it possible e. g., to understand economicgeographic regions as cybernetic systems [22] and enable to re-classify exactly many other geographical concepts. The present author tries, by means of a cybernetic systemic notional apparatus, to give support to the unitary conception of geography. He arrives to the idea of unity of geography on the basis of 1) structural-functional isomorphism or homomorphism, on the basis of models, and b) on the systemic-integral basis. The starting point in the former case is represented by the idea of the possibility to use the same structural-functional relations both in the physical and in human geography, in the latter case by the idea which was exactly mathematically proved by the Polish scientist O. Lange, that system as a whole represents a new quality.
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