Quantitative Revolution

Quantitative revolution is the not very felicitous term that arose to describe the partial transformation of geography from a merely descriptive science into one that included the development of a theory of spatial organization and behavior, formal modeling of these processes, and the use of appropriate statistical methods to test the expectations from theory.

Participants preferred the term scientific, emphasizing a fundamental shift from an ideographic (descriptive) to a nomothetic (formal theory) epistemology. Revolution is accurate, as there was assuredly an intentional break with what had come to be viewed as an inherently interesting and integrative field of study but one that had embarrassingly failed to go beyond “what” to the unsolved questions of “how” and ”why.” Instead of providing maps and data as part of ...

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