Dialectics and Geography

  • B. Marchand
Part of the Theory and Decision Library book series (TDLU, volume 20)


During the 1960’s, geography in English speaking countries enjoyed a period of development and enthusiasm without precedent: with new generations flooding the universities and dissent shaking the campuses, old structures seemed ready to crumble and even among academic geographers, new ideas were welcome, sometimes hungrily looked for. Then, the middle-class, in western Europe and North America, became frightened by its own boldness and, moved by changes in the economy, contradicted itself and looked back with nostalgia to the 1950’s. A new generation of graduate students started refusing mathematical methods and, in strong defiance of what it called ‘reason’, advocated personal contacts, ’empathy’ and socially ‘relevant’ issues: a ‘radical’ geography, often strongly colored by Christian ideology, appeared, at the antipodes — or so it seemed — of mathematical modelling. It seems as if a pendulum was endlessly moving from technology to mysticism and back, with little hope to break the vicious cycle.


Migration Corn Europe Transportation Mold 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    M. Perleau-Ponty, ‘Le Philosophe et la sociologie’, in Essais Philosophiques,Paris, 1953, pp. 136, 143.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    R. W. Kates, ‘Mirror or Monitor for Man?’, in Antipode 1 (1969), 1.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    W. W. Bunge and R. Bordessa, The Canadian Alternative: Survival, Expeditions and Urban Change, York University, 1975.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    J. O. Von Neumann and O. Morgenstern, Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1944.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    B. Marchand, ‘Information Theory and Geography’, in Geographical Analysis N (1974), 3.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    P. George, ‘La Geographie Quantitative, Un Nouveau Determinisme?’, in Notiziario di Geografia Economica, Rome, 1971.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    R. Barthes, Systeme de la Mode, Paris, 1967.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    R. Barthes, ‘Le Mythe Aujourd’hui’, in Mythologies,Paris, 1957.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    S. Gale, ‘On the Heterodoxy of Explanation: A Review of Harvey’s Explanation in Geography’, in Geographical Analysis 4 (1972), 3, 285–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 14.
    R. Thom, Structural Stability and Morphogenesis,Reading, Massachusetts, 1975.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    G. W. F. Hegel, Logic,Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1975, p. 136.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Hume, An Abstract of a Treatise of Human Nature, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1938, p. 16.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    H. Marcuse, Reason and Revolution; Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, Oxford University Press, London, 1941, p. 20.Google Scholar
  14. 25.
    G. W. F. Hegel, Philosophy of Nature I, Allen and Unwin, London, 1970, p. 223.Google Scholar
  15. 26.
    M. Foucault, Madness and Civilization; a History of Insanity in The Age of Reason, Pantheon Books, New York, 1965.Google Scholar
  16. 27.
    M. Horkheimer and T. W. Adorno, Dialectics of Enlightenment,Seabury Press, New York, 1944, pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  17. 28.
    C. W. Harris, Problems in Measuring Change,University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 1963, p. 117.Google Scholar
  18. 30.
    D. Nelkin, The Science-Textbook Controversies’, in Scientific American 234 (1976), 33–39.Google Scholar
  19. 33.
    L. Savage, The Foundations of Statistics,John Wiley, New York, 1954.Google Scholar
  20. 34.
    G. Olsson, Birds in Egg,Ann Arbor, 1975; S. Gale, ‘Inexactness, Fuzzy Sets, and the Foundations of Behavioural Geography’, in Geographical Analysis 4 (1972), 337–349.Google Scholar
  21. 35.
    E. C. Zeeman, ‘Catastrophe Theory’, in Scientific American 234 (1976), 65–83; Thom, op. cit. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 36.
    G. Devereux, Ethnopsychanalyse Complémentariste, Flammarion, Paris, 1972.Google Scholar
  23. 37.
    H. Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, Beacon Press, Boston, 1967.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Marchand
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ParisSorbonneFrance

Personalised recommendations