• 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.

Marxism and Critical Realism: Seeking What Lies Beneath
Marxism and critical realism: Seeking what lies beneath

…the problems of nature, of space, and of uneven development are tied together by capital itself. (Smith, 1984/2010, p. 8)

This quote from geographer Neil Smith (1954–2012) offers a nice start for this chapter because it points at two things: firstly, at Marxist geography's core concern to understand how economic production shapes places, spaces and lives; secondly, in his reference to ‘nature’ Smith hints that this is a mode of thought which can begin to connect human and physical geography. As Marxian political economy came to dominate human geography, the emergence of political ecology in the 1980s offered a means of understanding issues of human-induced environmental degradation and associated inequalities. ...

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