The Importance Of Being A Geographer

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Professor Philippson: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce our two speakers for today, Dr. Müller from our own geography department here in the University of Bonn and our visiting speaker Professor Smith a faculty member of the geography department of University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. They will be sharing their opinions on what they think the subject of geography should be about and will be critically comparing and contrasting each other’s views.

Dr. Müller: Thank you very much Professor Philippson for that introduction. As a geographer I see myself as an environmental determinist and I support the beliefs of my fellow German geographer, Friedrich Ratzel, who in his two-volume Anthropogeographie, voices
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Müller: Although these points do make for interesting thought, I would have to disagree with your beliefs on this theory Professor Smith. Ratzel did not just explain determinism in human geography in terms of natural conditions, but stressed the significance of the historical development and cultural background of populations. Environmental determinism looks at patterns of environmental change or geographical difference as a way to understand these differing aspects of human and social development and in doing so explains why some areas of the world flourish while others do not. The natural environment can increasingly come to be seen as a determinant of the uneven development of human culture and society over space and…show more content…
As a geographer I see myself as a regional geographer. With the intense criticism of the concept of environment determinism in recent years due to it being viewed by more and more geographers as an approach that involves spurious and racist theories of environmental causation, this discontent with the environmental determinism paradigm has led to less and less respect for the approach within the wider academic community and in the previous decade has led to a quest for an alternative core to distinguish academic Geography. In recent years an emphasis on regional studies has, in my opinion, become the core of geography. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of regional geography, it is the study of an area that takes into account an area’s total composition or complexity. In most cases, regional geography may focus on a particular aspect of an area, such as the relationship between humanity and its habitat in order to illuminate the region’s special character. Rather than theorising on a grand scale, regional geography seeks to produce inventories of regions, harnessing the technological advances of travel to what had previously been considered remote parts of the world, and map, log and classify the topography and

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