• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A core text on the philosophy and theory of geography A module like philosophy/theory/history of geography is compulsory in most undergraduate degree programmes. Although the focus in these modules is usually on Human Geography, students of Physical Geography and Environmental Geography also have to take these modules. As well as providing an overview of the ideas The Foundations of Geographic Enquiry is written to be specifically accessible to – and used by – Human Geographers and Physical Geographers.

Critical Rationalism: Learning from Our Mistakes
Critical rationalism: Learning from our mistakes

It might be well for all of us to remember that, while differing widely in the various little bits we know, in our infinite ignorance we are all equal. (Popper, 1974, p. 29)

Is geography a science? The question of what distinguishes science from other ways of knowing was central to the development of Karl Popper's critical rationalism. Although geography's Quantitative Revolution tends to be associated with positivism (Chapter 2), much quantitative geographical research reflects critical rationalism as much as positivism. This chapter will explain critical rationalism as defined by Popper, identify its influence and use within geography, and consider some strands of criticism.

Popper's Critical Rationalism

Karl Popper was probably one of the most ...

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