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Hettner, Alfred (1859–1941)

  • By: Barney Warf
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Alfred Hettner was a prominent and highly influential German geographer who powerfully shaped the nature of the discipline in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Greatly influenced by Immanuel Kant, Alexander von Humboldt, and Carl Ritter, Hettner argued that geography consisted of the art of holistic regional description and synthesis, inductively seeking relations among phenomena that other disciplines ignored, particularly those between humans and the environment.

Son of a museum director in Dresden, Hettner grew up in comfortable circumstances. He started his higher education at the University of Halle in 1877. He moved to Bonn a year later and to Strasbourg a year after that. Much of his training was focused on physical geography. In 1897, he became a professor at Tübingen and later at ...

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