3 травня 2020 р.


It is very important to get acquainted with the works of scientists working in a field close to yours. In this case we are talking about the work of "UNIFYING GEOGRAPHY. Common heritage, shared future". My direction is General Geography. Therefore, it makes sense to compare these variants of vision.
UNIFYING GEOGRAPHY. Common heritage, shared future. Edited by John A. Matthews and David T. Herbert. First published 2004 by Routledge. – link.

The citation. In the preamble, the authors state the following: It is argued that the differences in content and approach between physical and human geography, and within its subdisciplines, are often overemphasized. The result is that Geography is often seen as a diverse and dynamic subject, but also as a disorganized and fragmented one, without a focus.
My position. This cannot disagree. Indeed, over the decades, different directions have emerged, which their supporters considered to be almost independent. First of all, we are talking about the so-called physical geography and economic geography, then - socio-economic geography (in the West - human geography), which required serious discussion. But representatives of these directions were reluctant to debate, and the points of view that questioned such a division of geography were simply ignored. For many years, I have shown that geography cannot be divided into such directions and is a holistic discipline, the structure of which must reflect the presence of different levels of organization of the geographical environment - abiotic, biotized and anthropized. They should be matched by geomorphology, biogeography and anthropogeography (human geography). Unfortunately, this was not supported by geographers. This is different from the position of the authors of the book who write that «Unifying Geography focuses on the plural and competing versions of unity that characterize the discipline, give it cohesion and differentiate it from related fields of knowledge».

And then: «Space, place, environment and maps are identified as the essential core components of Geography derived from its common heritage».
My position. I can't agree with what geography space, place and maps «are identified as the essential core components of Geography». When it comes about the environment (geo-environment), it already includes space and places, and the maps are nothing to do with it because it is a way of displaying data that is used not only by geographers but also by agents of many scientific fields.

I cannot disagree that the authors write in the foreword. Unfortunately, Sir Halford Mackinder's work is unknown to us, and what he offered back in 1887 is very important. Like the authors of this book, I have repeatedly raised the question of the likelihood of geography losing its independence as a scientific discipline. At the same time, unlike the authors, I think that there must be one aspect that connects all branches of geography to a heap, and that is the organization of the geographical environment that is the core of Geography. This is that serves as the object of study, ensuring its integrity and requires new notions. Such notions were introduced: geoholon, geoorg, geoholarchy: they reflect the integrity of those entities that geography must explore. This corresponds to what we have in other scientific disciplines: biology studies the forms of biological organization, sociology - social, chemistry - chemical and so on. We can also highlight geographic sections on different scales - micro-level, meso-level, macro-level, etc. Regarding the level of development of geography in Ukraine, it is rating in comparison with other scientific directions, there is nothing to talk about - they are extremely low. I totally agree that «most emphatically, the book makes the case for Geography and geographers to aim for greater unity, by building on our common heritage. We can only benefit from that. Alternative scenarios, it is argued, will lead Geography towards an unsustainable future in an increasingly interdisciplinary world»

Part I

Roots and continuities
David T. Herbert and John A. Matthews

The citation. «Human and physical geography have diverged because they deal with fundamentally different subject matter (Johnston, 1986) and find their inspirations from different bodies of knowledge» (p. 14).
My position. It really was and is considered today. But this is precisely the mistake: after the section of geography disappeared the understanding that everything was happening and is happening in a single environment, which gradually evolved and transformed under the influence of biota and anthropota (this term was introduced by analogy with the term "biota").
The citation. «There are trends that would subsume Geography under larger collectives such as environmental sciences on the one hand and social sciences on the other. These moves formalize the divisions between human and physical geography» (p. 15).
My position. Geography is not subdivided into areas such as environmental sciences and social sciences, because human beings, society as a whole are part of the geographical environment - its existing entities. Geography is not subdivided into areas such as environmental sciences and social sciences, because human beings, society as a whole are part of the geographical environment - its existing entities. To separate a person, society from a geographical environment means to take them beyond its boundaries, which is what destroys the integrity of geography. Thus, the differentiation of geography, which originated at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, was clearly artificial and had no serious grounds. The main root of the existence of geography as a holistic discipline is the integrity of the geographical environment in which the abiota, biota and anthropota interact with each other, forming the entities of different scales nested in one another. In such a consideration, the notion of "place" but of the concept of "entity" having a geographical level of complexity is the leading one.

Part II

John A. Matthews and David T. Herbert

I would like to draw the attention of geographers to the position of the authors mentioned in this paragraph: «Maps and cartography are probably the most evocative of what Geography is about. This is expressed rather well in the jingle of Edmund Clerihew Bently: ‘The art of Biography is different from Geography. Geography is about maps, but Biography is about chaps’ (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1964: 22). However, as Haggett (1990: 8) reminds us, maps, mapping and spatial structures are necessary to Geography but not sufficient to describe its methods or objectives. Geographers have evolved their own ways of viewing the world, which can be summarized as three methodological ‘traditions’:
• the cartographic tradition;
• the fieldwork tradition;
• the holistic tradition» (p. 21).
My position. In the past, maps and mapping methods were indeed perceived as defining the essence of geographical research, but over time it became clear that this was not the case, although we know of many examples where maps were called geographical. And Hagett's (1990: 8)[1] statement demonstrates this. The fact is that cartography is an independent discipline, and its methods are used in a wide range of disciplines. But it should be noted that geographic maps do not exist today, because such maps should reflect entities that have a geographical organization, geographical level of complexity. Today, this question is one of the keys: the task of geography is to study the forms and levels of organization of the geographical environment as a whole and its parts, which means that the leading aspect is not spatial but organizational. Such approaches are currently under development. I completely agree with the authors' statement that «third, the ‘holistic tradition’ captures the attempts of geographers to understand the totality of the Earth’s surface. These traditions have evolved considerably through time and provide the bases of the new spatial methodologies» (p. 22), and: «as a unifying force within the discipline of Geography, maps both represent spatial variation in Earth-surface phenomena and serve as interpretive procedures» (p. 22). I also want to point out that the common GIS abbreviation is not correct because there can be no geographical information, we can only speak about the data used in geography. Accordingly, we are talking about "Space Data Systems" - SSD.
As far as field research is concerned, I fully agree with the authors: geography will always rely on such data sources. Unfortunately, today there are many examples where "researchers" use data from the Internet, maps and directories, and write their "dissertations" without even visiting the relevant territories.
The third methodological tradition is the embodiment of holistic views. The authors write: «There are many dimensions to the comprehension of the Earth’s surface as a whole, rather than in terms of its many parts. These include consideration of: (1) the Earth’s surface in its totality with all relevant factors (be they biophysical or human); (2) the range of scales from local to global, which are manifest in both patterns and processes over the Earth’s surface; (3) the multidimensional nature of space and time, including the interaction of spatial variation and temporal change; (4) the interdependence of people and environment; and (5) inclusive objects of study such as landscapes, places and regions», accompanying his point of view with a drawing.
Figure II.1 Dimensions of the holistic tradition in Geography.

Consider the scheme.
. Covers the range of scales from local to global. This is a very important point that is true. But I note that poly-scale is not only a geographical feature, it is also known in other cases, such as biology, sociology, economics, etc.
. Focuses on the interdependence of people and environment. This seems a bit strange because the authors have for some reason ruled out the interdependence between abiota and biota. Even more important is the fact that humans, human society are components of the geographical environment, so it is not entirely correct to focus on the interdependence between humans and the environment. The biosphere is embedded in the abiotic sphere, and the anthroposphere - in the biosphere, together they form a unity and mark the macro-stages of its formation.
.  Involves a multidimensional approach to space and time. I can't agree with that. First, space and time do not exist by themselves, they are abstractions produced during the formation of civilization, and are used in the scientific field as dimensions that facilitate reflection, especially dynamics. Secondly, if there is already a range of scales from local to global, then this already includes a multidimensional approach to space and time.
. Investigates inclusive objects of study: landscapes / places / regions. Here, it all depends on how to determine the "landscape", "place" and "region", which relationship to establish between these concepts. I'll start with the landscape. "Landscape" is not a territorial unit, it is an image of a certain terrain, which is formed in our mind, so "landscape" can not be put in line with "place" and "region". "Place" is not space (often the earth's surface), it is a site that is occupied by something, and without that "something" can not be said about the place. "Region" - Region (English region, German. Gebiet n, Region f; from Latin. Regio - kingdom, kingdom) - ancient land, land, principality, etc., today - a large territorial unit (Wikipedia: https: // uk.wikipedia.org / wiki /% D0% A0% D0% B5% D0% B3% D1% 96% D0% BE% D0% BD). This means that the region also has its place.
. Studies the Earth's surface in its totality. I do not use the term "earth's surface" because it is not straightforward. We examine the day (visible) surface like a board on which processes form their text-mappings in the form of a certain structure. This is what is important. The integral image of such a surface is the landscape. In most cases, geographical research begins with the structure of this surface.


In this section, the authors look at straightforward approaches in geography: Spatial statistics (geostatistics); Earth observation (remote sensing); Geographic information systems (GIS).
. Spatial statistics (geostatistics). The name "Spatial statistics" is correct, but "geostatistics" is not, because these methods are applied not only in geography, but wherever there is a need for statistical processing of data distributed in space.
. Earth observation (remote sensing). This approach is used in many different spheres of society, including geography.
. Geographic information systems (GIS). I mentioned above that GIS abbreviation is not correct, it is better to write “"Space Data Systems" – “SSD”.

Peter Vincent and Ian Whyte

The authors note the following: «In this chapter we argue that the cartographic expression of geographical information is a tradition that is far from moribund, in spite of the fact that cartography as such has almost completely disappeared from the undergraduate curriculum. In our view cartography, in all its many guises, plays, and should play, a pivotal role in modern geographical discourse» (p. 33).
My position. The authors do not distinguish between "information" and "data", considering that data is information. This is not correct. Information is the formation or change of behaviour and structure as a result of receiving signals, messages, and condition data. This is a significant point. Again: there is no geographical information (as well as biological, sociological, chemical, etc.), there are signals, messages, data used by geographers, biologists, sociologists, chemists, etc. I agree that historically cartography has been closely linked to geography, but that does not mean that it is «the very lifeblood of modern Geography» (p. 34). Geography is not a science of places; it is a science of the forms of organization of entities that have their place.



According to the authors, «Maps acted as expressions of human power over the physical environment; to record it accurately was to begin to control it» (p. 37). In this approach, a person is brought out of the formation of which he is. This is a false vision.


My position. I want to express my point of view on the physical geography that has already been published. Physical geography is a view of the geographical environment in terms of physics. It doesn't matter what level of organization you are talking about. If there is an opportunity to provide a physical picture of these entities, it will be a physical and geographical picture.
The citation. «Plant and animal distribution maps are an important tool in biogeography and have been so for more than a century (Vincent, 1990). Understanding
a species’ range and its determinants can only really be understood by a visual examination of the recorded spatial data» (p. 39).
My position. I do not question the importance of maps as a way of presenting data, but I reiterate that they are ancillary. I cannot agree that the distribution in the space of animals and plants is related to biogeography. This is an outdated view of this discipline. Biogeography is a large section of geography, and its field of study is not the distribution of species (estimated at around 10 million), but the forms of organization of biotized geographic formations of various scales up to and including the biosphere.



David R. Stoddart and William M. Adams


I am very impressed by Felix Driver's point of view: «In a recent editorial in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Felix Driver (2000) notes how seldom geographers have reflected on the place of fieldwork in the geographical imagination. We would agree wholeheartedly. For both of us, the field is central to the way we have experienced Geography, both as the discipline within which we have lived and worked since our first degree, and as a context within which to begin to think about the way the world works. As Driver points out, the field is a subject in itself worthy of historical enquiry. Geographical knowledge needs to be understood as something that is constituted through a range of embodied practices (such as travelling, seeing and recording). ‘The field’ is not a self-evident place, somewhere ‘out there’ to be ‘discovered’ in an unproblematic sense, it is produced in the ideas and the recorded or remembered movements of geographical actors, created through their discourse and shared through the networks of academic (and amateur) exchange» (p. 46). I think that students of geography departments should begin their studies by reading these lines.


I am very impressed by the following: «Geography seemed to be what emerged when you tried to explain what was there and how things worked …» (p. 48), onwards: «Being in places, and being there with people, has both punctuated our lived experiences (years are classified in our minds by the work done and the places visited) and provided the engine for geographical writing. It would be impossible (should anyone wish to engage in such a thankless task) to explain either what we have done research on, or the ideas and issues we have chosen to write about, without knowing how they have emerged from the desire to be in places, or the desire to explain what we thought was going on there to others on our return. Without the field there would have been, for both of us, no Geography to write home about» (p. 48).




The citation. « ‘development studies’ has held an unquestioned position in contemporary Geography, offering, despite itself, a capsule of the exotic in a matrix of ‘normal’ mainstream Geography, comfortable in the normalized categories of the ‘political’, ‘economic’, ‘cultural’ or ‘historical’ Geography of the developed world» (p. 51).
My position. I do not think that the introduction of such directions as "political", "economic", "cultural", "historical", as well as "social" geography is correct. This leads to a blurring of the integrity of the research domain of geography. It is not necessary to mix geography with political science, economics, cultural studies, history, and sociology. This also applies to soil geography, geography of climates and other directions, the emergence of which indicates a fuzzy idea of the domain of geography as an independent science. This has led to a decrease in its importance.
Very good question and the answer: «Where is the division between physical and human geography in such studies? Indeed, where does the Geography start and stop? It is not easy (or perhaps useful) to say, but the centrality of fieldwork to such research, and the relevance of geographers’ contributions to those outside the subject, cannot be doubted» (p. 52).


I was interested in the work of T.H. Huhlei "Physiography: An Introduction to the Study of Natura"[2]. Unfortunately, the term "physiography" is now little used by geographers, although fields and research begin with physiographic observations. On the Internet, we have the following definition (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/physiography): The subfield of geography that studies physical patterns and processes of the Earth. It aims to understand the forces that produce and change rocks, oceans, weather, and global flora and fauna patterns. I think that the physiographic structure of the day (visible) surface is the basis for the formation of the landscape as an image of this surface.


This text demonstrates how so-called interdisciplinarity destroys geography and students cease to understand what to look for and what geography is all about. «In human geography, the Quantitative Revolution at first led research away from the field, towards the quantitative analysis of aggregate human behaviour ... To quantitative human geographers, fieldwork was a source of the all-important ‘data’, particularly through quantitative questionnaire surveys, and the rigorous of sampling design provided a suitable opening gambit for arcane statistical wizardry. The advent of socio-economic data in electronic form, latterly online, has allowed research analysis to be detached from the mundane complexities of data collection» (p. 54 - 55). Neither aggregate human behaviour nor socio-economic data is the subject of geographical exploration. It so happened that representatives of the so-called social, economic or socio-economic geographies departed from field research and ceased to include in their developments the basis on which anthropized forms of organization of the geographical environment are formed: they went the simplest way. Therefore, we have the following: «The repeated shocks and aftershocks of social and cultural theory have led human geography towards more abstracted and theoretical concerns derived from elsewhere in the social sciences and humanities. In their efforts to establish relations with a diversity of fields, and in the process to make Geography seem more scholarly, some human geographers have tended to deplore the lack of scholarly expertise (and patrician style) implied by a reliance on fieldwork. Some human geographers have come to use the field as a theatrical arena, to put theory through its paces and show off its delights and drawbacks. Travel literature, art and social theory, for example, have become important subjects for human geographical enquiry in their own right; indeed the discursive construction of ‘the field’ itself is recognized as an important subject for geographical enquiry» (p. 55). I think it is worth talking not about human geography, but about anthropogeography, especially since such a name has long existed.


It is difficult to disagree with the final conclusion of the authors: «We believe that the field is fundamental to geographical enquiry and understanding. It is one of the keys to understanding geographers, and why they cannot simply be split up into cognate departments. It is not a guarantee of unity» (p. 57).

Paul A. Longley and Michael J. Barnsley


I would like to draw your attention to the following message from the authors: «More generally, this chapter takes the perspective that Geography is losing its way precisely because so many of its practitioners have retreated from the quest of creating robust, defensible generalizations about spatial patterns and processes. This is increasingly translated into our teaching. Most Geography students experience courses in ‘geographical concepts’ that, in practice, turn out to be long on how to think about scientific method, but short on the ‘doing’ of Geography» (63).
My position. The emphasis is on spatial patterns, which may not be a feature of geography. The spatial dimension is present in most scientific fields, and this does not mean that geography is relevant to their subjects of study. I think this is one of the largest delusions of geographers, because such a vision has for many decades blocked the search for a truly geographical vision - the organization of geographical entities. And the authors also emphasize this point: «This is perhaps all  more astonishing because the spatial dimension is viewed as inherently important by researchers and problem solvers working in a wide range of other academic and professional disciplines» (p. 64).


I want to discuss the following statements of the authors: «In the broadest sense, ‘geographical’ means ‘pertaining to the Earth’s surface or near surface’ and, in their most basic forms, EO and GIS allow us to construct inventories of where things (events, activities, policies, strategies and plans) happen on the Earth’s surface, and when. They also provide tools to analyse events and occurrences, across a range of spatial scales from the architectural to the global, and over a range of time horizons from the operational to the strategic» (p. 65).
My position. I cannot agree that the geographical domain, at least its empirical section, is closely related to the day (earth) surface or in her neighbourhood, but the events that take place here, the processes and structures that occur here, are not only geographical. Moreover, each individual process is not geographical. Geography deals with their combined action, which leads to coherence through mutual influences. Therefore, this is not a defining point for geography. Another thing is the emergence of geographically organized entities that should be revealed as wholeness. The task of geographers is to identify entities that, while complex, exhibit behaviours inherent in holistic objects. And where and when they are formed is additional.
The authors discuss issues of law in geography. At one time, such laws were formulated (primarily under the influence of physics), but later it became clear that they were invented or not just geography (such as the so-called Tobler’s ‘First Law of Geography’). It should be borne in mind that the law can be deduced if we deal with the regularity of what is constantly being reproduced. But in the geographical environment everything is constantly changing and the states are never repeated, which makes it impossible to carry out laboratory experiments. This fact denies the possibility of deriving geographical laws. Tobler’s ‘First Law of Geography’ is not a law but a generalization. The authors also hint at this: «Yet regularities that can attain the status of laws are rare, if not entirely absent, from Geography, and it is usually the case that the best that we can hope for is a robust and defensible ability to generalize, based upon observed distributions of events and occurrences» (p. 67). At the same time, I cannot agree with the expression "spatial process" because it means that there are non-spatial processes. Also, I cannot agree with the authors' assertion that «The geographer’s art is fundamentally about understanding how and why significant events may be unevenly distributed across space and time; the geographer’s science is fundamentally concerned with generalizing effectively between and about them» (p. 67).









Part III

John A. Matthews and David T. Herbert

The citation. «Although curiosity in geographical aspects of the Earth’s surface has greater antiquity, modern Geography began when interactions between the biophysical and human worlds were perceived as important enough, and different enough from other fields of knowledge and understanding, to constitute a separate discipline» (p. 83).
My position. This idea is important to understand when modern geography began. This happened when society was aware of the fact that human society is not an excluded formation but a natural stage of evolution occurring in a geographical environment. The consequence is the origin of the anthroposphere, which is formed in the process of co-evolution of all components of the geographical environment. Therefore, we can no longer talk about relations in the system "environment - human" (this relationship is important when considering the dynamics of society), within geography it is a holistic formation. Geography is not a space-time discipline, as Turner (2002)[3] points out, it is the science about the forms of organization of formations with the geographical level of complexity and space and time are the parameters intended for display. The scheme is interesting: (Figure III.1) «Some ways in which environment–human interactions have been conceptualized» (Source: adapted from Knight (1992)), which geographers should pay attention to.
On p. 86 authors cite aspects that are of interest to physical geographers and human geographers. But this does not mean that these aspects are relevant to geography. This applies to both climate change (the field of climatology as a constituent of atmology), and changes in vegetation (botany, palaeobotany), and soil (soil science). Even more troublesome is the list of aspects of interest to human geographers. «Human geographers have carried out parallel studies on shifting populations and new forms of settlement, and changing economies or political systems …» (p. 86). Issues such as population migration and changes in population, new forms of settlements, changes in economic and political systems are not geographical in essence. These are domains of study of demography, economics, and political science. There is no geography of the population, economic and political geography; there are artificial directions, the existence of which adversely affects geography as a science, which has its own separate domain of study. By the way, the dilution of research domains of physical and human geography does not contribute to the formation of geography as a holistic science with a single object of study.

The great debate?
Peter Beaumont and Chris Philo


Environmentalism is an extremely interesting scientific and practical branch, which I take as a transition to General Geography. This trend already requires the emergence and spread of a special culture - geoculture. The definition of environmentalism given by K. Miltor[4] is indeed correct: «‘For those who espouse its principles, environmentalism is essentially, though not uniquely, a quest for a viable future, pursued through the implementation of culturally defined responsibilities’ (1993: 2)» (p. 94). The authors write: «By ‘environment’ in this context is usually meant the surrounding world of objects and processes, principally as contained in the ‘physical landscape’ of oceans, mountains, forests, deserts and so on, but also, for some at least, as contained in the ‘human landscape’ of cultivation and built forms. The human–environment relation of interest here includes a material/technical aspect, an ethical bond and even a spiritual one. Human beings react to their environment, are influenced by it, and equally for some they have a responsibility towards it. At the same time, they cannot but think about the environment, maybe feel things quite deeply about it too, and so there is both an external dimension to how humans relate to the environment (the actions of one on the other) and an internal dimension (filtered through the thought-worlds of the humans involved)» (p. 94 - 95).


A world environmentalist agenda?

Environmentalism and new political and social groupings

The contested ‘nature’ of environmentalism
The citation. «A study of the ‘nature’ of environmentalism reveals that one is indeed dealing with a mass of interconnecting materials that can be assembled in many different ways to elucidate a particular point of view. Given this, environmentalism is best seen as a multidimensional space within which people can select a variety of ideas, themes and issues to produce a personal view or model of the world. When viewed from such a perspective, it becomes obvious that rigid definitions of environmentalism fail to encompass the rich variety of the subject matter that falls within it. Within this space certain areas or combination of ideas and themes appear to have become fashionable at particular times, but given the complexity of the system it is not surprising that new areas of interest within this complex space are constantly being explored» (p. 98).
My comment. What is within environmentalism is «a mass of interconnecting materials that can be assembled in many different ways to elucidate a particular point of view» and «environmentalism is best seen as a multidimensional space within which people can select a variety of ideas» demonstrates how it differs from geography in its future version: geography has one purpose - to study the forms of organization of the geographical level of complexity, which include the three main actors - abiota, biota and anthropota, whose action over time becomes more coherent and concerted. The main aspect is the organization based on the interaction between the components, as well as the production of information in the form of behaviour and structure. So, if environmentalism is ecocentric, then geography is organizational-centric. In addition, ecology is biocentric, it is a section of biology.

Environmentalism in the academy


I really like the saying: «Sometimes, it is even difficult to decide who is a geographer» (p. 102). This question is related to another question: what is geography exploring? Some believe that the terms "geographical" and "spatial" are synonymous and, accordingly, when it comes to spreading something (anything), it is already geography. This is a huge mistake. Geography has nothing to do with this. And the geographers themselves are to blame because they have not yet clearly defined their area of study.

Geographers studying ‘environmentalisms’

Geographers studying the (post)modern environmentalist movement

Geographers inspired by environmentalism

Geographers conceptualizing their identity in terms of environmentalism

Towards sustainability
Timothy O’Riordan


The following text contains valuable meanings:
«Environmentalism has always been with us. It speaks for the human condition. Humans are optimistic and interventionist, but we fear our prowess and are constantly reminded of our ignorance of nature’s ways. So we are also cautious and caring. Environmentalism has always captured this ambiguous anxiety and this flaw in our sense of anthropogenic distinctiveness. At its root environmentalism is a stimulant to extraordinary bursts of innovation in technology, management, valuation and participation. It is also a reminder that we may never know our true selves and our ultimate purpose on this extraordinary planet.
For the geographer, environmentalism permits an open examination of cultural bonding and social division. Most societies seek to survive, to design rules and customs in order to co-operate. Most societies also exploit the land and their neighbours, and create political structures that lead to division and dissent. For geographers nowadays, the trick is to work with communities to establish practices that restore nature and social well-being, that are culturally resonant with history, yet realistic in the face of local power relations» (p. 117).
But I emphasize that geographic research must proceed from the integrity of the geographical environment, without removing any single component beyond its boundaries. It is valuable that the author demonstrates the connection of humanity with nature, with the cosmos and the general process of evolution. Equally significant is the "second model": «Another model lies between the rational and the ideal. This is the distinction in science between knowledge and knowing. Rational analysis is still the basic of much Geography training. Helping to understand how people ‘know’ and how social intelligence is constructed also lies in the domain of Geography. We need to nurture both ‘styles’ of knowledge and to help to blend them for planetary citizenship» (p. 118).
          The authors show further that the effect of environmentalism as a way of thinking has become: «Enter sustainability. Here we see a protean notion that is still in its early budding. Sustainability became the buzz phrase of the 1990s, and the transformational politics of the twenty-first century. Sustainability is genuinely revolutionary, striking at all aspects of our souls, our social purpose and our future lifestyles. Sustainability seeks to unite the planet and the human family in one supportive and inextricable embrace. Sustainability is a new politics and a new humanity. We have barely begun to see how and why sustainability might manifest itself. This is because our outlooks, our economic and political institutions, and indeed our social relations are all inured in non-sustainability perspectives. We cannot see out of our historical prison bars» (p. 118). I think that implementation of this approach should be based on the concept of coherence of human activities with the functioning of the biosphere. This idea became the basis of my conception of the "Biosphere Country" developed in 1997, the essence of which is in the following: human society is inserted into the biotized environment of the planet, therefore, its sustainable functioning should be ensured through the allocation of territories that are not included in the states. Such territory should be inseparable in order to ensure the migration processes of the biota.


I can't help but hold these thoughts: «The planet is remarkably resilient: the evidence of systematic breakdown of global environmental support systems is patchy but increasingly persuasive. Marginal and vulnerable peoples do remarkably adapt and survive, but they should not be placed in a position to do so» (p. 119).

Human development
Human development issues should not have to do with geography.

Land and food
This question lies outside the geographic research domain.

One of the most important regimes that have been and continue to be in the geographical environment.

One of the most important indicators that make possible to evaluate the state of the biosphere as a macro-actor of the geographical environment.

Natural component, which presence determines the possibility of life existence and development but water is the domain of hydrology research as an independent discipline.

It has nothing to do with geography.


It is an interesting and useful section. Issues of environmental ideologies should be considered by geographers.

Cornucopian technocentrism

Accommodationist technocentrism

I would like to draw your attention to this statement: «Holism is admired but is not considered practical. Intrinsic natural rights are professed but rarely put into practice. Integrity of life worlds of leisure and work and social identity shift and shoal, but do not coalesce around environmental well-being» (p. 126). In my opinion, it is more correct to speak not of ecocentrism, but of biosphere-centrism. And the fact that this ideology has not yet been put into practice indicates that world society has not yet reached the required level of culture and consumer attitudes towards nature remain a priority. What is given in an open letter to the UN Secretary-General points to this:
«Despite the fact that the past 50 years have seen a five-fold increase in world economic growth and a nineteen-fold increase in the volume of world trade, the world during that time has experienced unprecedented poverty and environmental chaos, globalisation of economic development could not have failed more dramatically, yet the agenda for the Summit demands acceleration of the same disastrous policies.
(The Ecologist, 2002: 4)» (p. 127).
Humanity produces too much waste, which consumes a lot of resources. We have bloated production, and this issue is not under control unless we take into account the mechanisms of economic crises. The text of the next paragraph is just that:
«The Swedish Environment Advisory Council Study (2002: 7) on socio-ecological resilience urges a new form of governance. This should be networked, participative, co-operative, burden sharing, learning and adapting. It should encourage self-organization and ensure that ecosystem-based science have a basic right to provide the nurturing functions on which all life depends. The use of scenarios and adaptive management techniques to accountable responsiveness in new democratic forms is also vital. Policy should recognize the coupled independence for human and natural forms and functions, and stimulate socio-ecological resilience by recognizing ecological thresholds, uncertainty, purpose and precaution. Governance should create platforms for adaptive management processes and flexible multiple-level forms of dividing, that can learn, generate suitable knowledge and cope with change. Such patterns create management
diversity» (p. 127).


From the position of geographer I would not write «from environmentalism to sustainability» but «from environmentalism to geographism as the basis of sustainability» and the following text matches this: «So we should begin with the self. Environmentalism is a state of being, an expression of self-awareness, and the recognition of the obligations of citizenship. Looking at ourselves as conscious individuals, we are, essentially, the product of the remotest chance. First, we exist on a planet that may have no equal in the cosmos. The fact that there is life on a planet which is in deep chemical and physical disequilibrium, is in itself remarkable. Then we should ask: how did our parents meet? And their parents in turn? In almost every case, they met through unexpected or unanticipated circumstances. Any given sperm has only a remote chance of fertilizing. So, the evidence that each of us exists, has consciousness, at this momentous moment of planetary and human history is, at least, a marvel, and may indeed have deeper meaning» (p. 128). At the same time, I note that "sustainability" it cannot be considered as just steadiness, because development requires fragility.


Wonderful words by James Lovelock. Scientists will have to prove for a long time that his mind has seized at the same time. «He brings together the huge literature on the coupling of biotic and abiotic processes to suggest that, as we probe deeper and deeper into the workings of the planet, the evidence of auto-regulation across space, time and process mounts up» (p. 129). This concept is deeply geographical.


«The Gaian perspective underlies the principles of sustainability. A healthy planet will support, and will be supported by, healthy people. Healthy people are at peace with each other, share each other’s joy and despair, and work to create a reliable and secure economy for themselves, their families and their neighbourhoods. This healthiness is permanent, both established and won by innovation and revelation. The transition to sustainability is a process of exploration and learning in which everyone has to be consciously engaged» (p. 131).




Undoubtedly, the issue of sustainable (in my opinion better coordinated) development is deeply geographical. As the author points out, «Sustainable development is nearly always characterized as a ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) of amalgamating environmental, social and economic well-being into a common audit» (p. 132), and further: «The very notion of a ‘bottom line’ suggests a business mentality of profit and loss and net gain, demonstrable to the shareholders and still palatable to the consumer. What is missing in this metaphor is the governance dimension. Even if we buy a triple bottom line, how do we measure it, organize ourselves to achieve it, evaluate our successes and failures, and prepare the ground for a participatory democracy that may still embrace sustainability with purpose and joy?» (p. 133). But, as the author rightly implies, «In practice, sadly, the world does not deliver governance for sustainability. There is no truly participatory democracy: only variants of power-based governing where legitimation of consultation and inclusion play their hands» (p. 133), and: «The task for the geographer is to find more equitable political theory to allow this to flourish beyond rhetoric» (p. 133). The author makes an important conclusion: «But, as yet, there is no administrative structure tested or visualized that could do this job. This is certainly the task of the open-minded geographer of the future» (p. 133), and «The aim is to get away from single pattern solutions for meeting environmental, social and economic needs where such needs are highly variable at the local level» (p. 133).




This is an important statement by the author, who emphasizes that geography should lead the way in addressing the threshold of transition to sustainability: «Sustainability appraisal will appear. It is inevitable if we are to cross any threshold to sustainability. It is also intensely interdisciplinary and highly appropriate for sustainability science. Above all, it necessarily links socio-ecological systems thinking to new forum of governance for sustainability. This is certainly an arena that is crying out for involvement and leadership from geographers» (p. 138).


The citation. «Sustainability should reunify Geography. It carries at its core ecosystem functioning, the values of such functions aesthetically, economically and biologically, and the need to resonate them for adaptation and learning about the human condition. It equally carries the principles of peace, justice, resilience and reciprocity. These are core geographical outcomes of how people relate to themselves in a habitable world. It carries through the notions of ecological resilience to social well-being and adaptability, and to economic well-being and ecological reliability. All these are core notions in the perspective of Geography ... . Even more, sustainability is about governance, i.e. patterns of managing, accommodating, sharing and acting that generate the goals of resilience, well-being and livelihoods» (p. 138).
My position. I think it is not to reunite geography, but to become a goal that will allow geography to finally show its distinctiveness and significance in a cohort of scientific disciplines. This is a chance for geography to demonstrate their ability to solve complex problems. And the author states: «To be successful, the ‘sustainability’ geographer will be:
• analytical but fair;
• conscious of values but not value projecting;
• sensitive to the politicization of science, yet not afraid of facing politics;
• able to engage stakeholders and detects those who should be stakeholders and make them so;
• link economics to sociology, to psychology, to natural sciences in the rounded valuation of ecosystem services;
• form partnerships with government, business and civil society to move the agenda forward;
• be ready for even more adventurous pilot and participatory approaches to governance and have the capacity to monitor and evaluate this against sustainability appraisal indicators;
• recognize trust and build on it» (p. 139).

Here I want to draw attention to point 3:
«Sustainability is a matter of new forms of governance, not just the linkage of the economic, social and environmental dimensions. The new forms of governance are multilayered, operate across a divergent and unified space at times, create partnerships between the public, private and civic spheres, and demand new forms of evaluation and appraisal. The opportunity to examine the push for and the elements of these new forms of governance are immense» (p. 140).
My position: So these are new forms of governance, and I think they should be directed at managing the organization.

David Taylor and Anna R. Davies

It is a very nefarious chapter, which, however, has no direct relation to geography, because it does not cover the whole geographical environment.

Part IV

David T. Herbert and John A. Matthews

The citation. «Terms such as place, area, territory and region have always occupied a prominent position in geographical thought. Regionalism gave the discipline one of its founding paradigms and its significance has not so much diminished as changed in character over the years (see, for example, Whittlesey, 1954[5]). The concept of the region suggested that there were identifiable segments of the Earth’s surface that took on special meaning. That meaning could be acquired from a variety of sources. There were physical regions such as the Alps, the Steppes or the Ganges delta where the defining features were topographic or climatic. Perhaps more tellingly there were human geographical regions made particular by some facet of their history and culture that gave them a sense of identity. When Vidal de la Blache (1926)[6] developed the concept of regionalism in France, it was based on these kinds of interpretations; regions were set apart form each other by the interaction between people and nature and by the role of human agency on landscape. Hartshorne (1939)[7] expressed support for the regional theme in rather more ‘mechanical’ ways in his concept of areal differentiation or the recognition of different areas on the surface of the Earth» (p. 163).
My comment. I like the authors' view of these terms, but in some cases, the definitions may be different. It is important that they are not regarded as taxonomic units (as is the case, for example, in Russian geography for the term "locality"/"terrain") and scale is taken from the meso- to the micro-scale. The structure of the daytime (visible) surface can be complicated. Yes, some areas may be embedded in larger areas, as shown in the figure.

Nilots on the Sudud swamp (South Sudan).

The citation. «Place is more than that; it has an added value in experiential terms. The term place then is one that ranks highly in the lexicon of geographical terms and is in many ways unique among the key concepts of Geography, though especially in human Geography. The word itself has a depth of meaning and can stand alone without embroidery, amplification or modification as a meaningful geographical concept» (p. 164).
My remark. The notionі ‘place’ ‘area’, ‘territory’ and ‘region’ are used not only geographers, but it is also used widely. The presence of a place means the presence of something and allows you to determine its relation to other things: there is no empty place. Therefore, it is not a geographical concept (like the others above) but one that is used in geography.
The citation. «Space has limited independent meaning and is in effect a relational concept (Sack, 1972). It has to be qualified by time, context, and a range of economic, social and political factors» (p. 164).
My remark. There are some difficulties with the concept of "space" (as well as time). There is no space (like time) as such. Therefore, to write that «It has to be qualified by time, context, and a range of economic, social and political factors» is incorrect. Rather, the image of space is formed by the context, the heterogeneity of the environment. The processes that take place in the environment and the structures they generate are the basis for shaping the image of space in the human mind. So the leading concept is a changing environment that allows you to enter the concept of time. The authors write: «Environment is another concept that needs to be qualified in a number of ways. The dominant assumption is that the term refers to the natural environment but there are other ‘relational’ interpretations, such as social environments, built environments and political environments that are studied by geographers» (p. 165). I don't think so. Geographers should study part of the earth's environment, which is characterized by a geographical level of complexity - a geographical environment, and all other variants are not relevant to geography.
The citation. «The unique quality of place is that it goes beyond the objective and has affective meanings. Over and above the allied concepts, or properties, of area, territory and region, place engenders emotions. There is a sense of place, of belonging and identity that finds  their full expression in the concept of place. Place embodies the harmony of a defined territory and the meanings and experiences that are attached to it»
My remark. I think that emotions are caused not by a place, but by the fact that it, so to speak, underlies - a certain formation together with the context and, accordingly, other places. But there is one question that creates the "magic" of the place: why is it that this place is appearing here? Is it possible to speak of a certain tension between places, and if so, what is its nature? And what about the expression "quiet place"? The authors give the opinion of R.D. Sack, which is considered original: «He used the metaphor of the loom and argued that ‘place, like a loom, has a structure and dynamic that are indispensable to undertaking projects by helping us to weave things together’. ‘Places in this sense are the geographical instruments we construct that allow us to transform nature and culture, to combine and interweave the two’» Sack R.D. (2001: 107)[8]. But I do not think that such a metaphor is correct. Then the place becomes a feature of complex physical education, which is not true. Often, "place" is defined as space (often the earth's surface) occupied or occupied by anyone. // Space (item, point) where something is placed, happens, etc. // A definite point, a plane intended for anyone, anything. // A specific area specially designed to accommodate it. (https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D1%96%D1%81%D1%86%D0%B5). At the same time, they forget that all this is placed and happens not only in space but also in time (if you take these parameters into consideration) because everything has its length and duration. And, of course, geographers cannot act as place makers.
And on: «Place catches the very basis of the Geography around which we build our lives. Home and neighbourhood, a sense of roots, localities that are imbued with memories and rich with experience, are all concepts that can be expressed through the idea of place. Geographers have long worked on or around the concept of place and it is in that sense a true unifying bond. Other key words such as landscape, area and region have integral connections with place; it embodies them and adds something of its own» (p. 165). It is interesting thoughts, although ordinary people, perceiving the place, feeling it, do not mention geography. There are also questions about the relationship between the terms "place" (on the one hand) and "landscape", "area", "region" on the other. First, it seems to me that "space" has some major limitations. For example, when we are discussing the nature of Andes Mountains, we do not use the term "place". Secondly, I don't think that "landscape" and "place" are interconnected, because "landscape" is an image of the terrain. So these issues are debatable.
The authors used a very important quote from Tuan's work: «How mere spaces became an intensely human place is a task for the humanistic geographer. It appeals to such distinctly humanistic interest as the nature of experience, the quality of the emotional bond to physical objects, and the role of concepts and symbols in the creation of the place identity. (Tuan, 1976: 269)[9]» (p. 165). I think the problem of "place" is philosophical.
As for physic-geographers (in the traditional use of the term), I think for them the "place" has a normal meaning in life, and that's normal. As for geographers, many of them like the term "place", and they have decided to make it a geographical term, but it gives nothing because this term has a common usage.
Very complicated and interesting paragraph! «Place is a fundamental concept in Geography. For human geographers, it embraces components of land and territory, history and rootedness, values and meaning, endowing it with qualities to which many disparate lines of enquiry can relate. Place can be interpreted as a visible territory, as a palimpsest of time and change, as a receptacle of meanings and experience. It can be represented as a measurable area, as an artist’s portrayal of landscape, as a group’s sense of identity and as an individual’s memory of ‘home’. Figure IV.1 attempts in a simple way to capture the ability of place to feature in a diversity of geographical perspectives. As a concept it is interpreted in a variety of ways yet retains its essence as a core component in the practice of Geography. In that sense it is a powerful unifying bond. We study places that have a degree of boundedness however variable that may be. An acceptance of the concept of place is not to accede to some unqualified doctrine of spatial fetishism; it is to recognize reality for what it is» (p. 167).
My remark. "Place" cannot be a fundamental concept in geography; it is a concept used by geographers, often in a rather vague sense. And it is not necessary to divide geographers into physical and human because they all explore the same environment. The aspects highlighted by the authors concern more anthropologists and culturologists. I cannot agree that the place can be imagined as visible territory, as a measured area (not in the same sense), but I agree that the place can be imagined as a palimpsest of time, as the content of meaning and experience, as a memory of the individual about "home". Definitely, "place" cannot be considered not only the main but also generally as a component in the practice of geography, because "place" is an information pool, rather a mental construct than something physical. As for Figure IV.1[10] - Alternative geographical interpretations of place, I take it for fictional.
Here is another difficult paragraph to consider: «Place then is an important concept for Geography. It overlaps with and sometimes substitutes for other key terms such as region, area and landscape but still adds a dimension of its own. Place can be studied in its own right as an identifiable segment of the Earth’s surface with a particular set of identifying features. It can also be seen as a mirror of society, reflecting both the history and the distributions of power of the context in which it has emerged. Place for geographers is part of the Earth’s surface with a spatial identity and boundaries that separate it from other places. Some places are very clearly defined in these terms; others are more opaque. Is this spatial fetishism? To accuse geographers of having a fetish with space is like accusing dentists of having a fetish with teeth! Of course, we can see place in the context of society, time and change, but it is an essential concept for the practice of Geography» (p. 168).
My remark. I cannot agree that the place «overlaps with and sometimes substitutes for other key terms such as region, area and landscape but still adds a dimension of its own». If that were the case, we would be dealing with terminological redundancy. I also don't think places are being explored as «an identifiable segment of the Earth's surface with a particular set of identifying features». The authors define "place" as a «part of the Earth's surface with a spatial identity and boundaries that separate it from other places», but so defined "locality"/"terrain". The authors wonder: «Is this spatial fetishism?» and they say, «To accuse geographers of having a fetish with space, is like accusing dentists of having a fetish with teeth!». Well, comparing geographers to dentists is an exaggeration. Regarding the fact that geographers suffer from a spatial fetish, so it is, although this is not common to all.

Tim Unwin and Jim Rose


It is a very good beginning: «We do not believe that academic enquiry, be it scientific explanation, humanist understanding or critical theory, is something that can merely be learnt and regurgitated in student examinations; rather, it is something alive and dynamic, that each person explores and challenges for themselves» (p. 171).


TIM Unwin asks the very right questions: «… do you think that the study of regions is really area studies, and that regions are nothing other than places? Or do you think that there are actually significant differences between them?»
JIM Rose's answer concerns the study of physic-geographers: «… they have in the past and still do, study regions for their own sake. Funnily enough, the end-point of much palaeoenvironmental research involves reconstructing palaeogeographies, and many of the present-day big issues of Quaternary science are concerned with reconstructing or modelling palaeogeographies. Only with this information will we be able to understand the nature, scale and rate of change on planet Earth, and it is this knowledge that is needed to solve the big problems of global change» (p. 172). So on.
My remark. It is interesting that the "region" seems to be perceived by the authors as something existing rather than what is distinguished in the environment by geographers. But in nature, nothing exists separately, so regions still need to be separated, using certain criteria. In my opinion, it was necessary first to discuss the issue of region allocation. In my opinion, it was necessary first to discuss the issue of region allocation. It is clear that this should occur on the basis of the presence of certain structures, predetermined by the action of the respective processes, but in the geographical environment many processes are simultaneously operating and the traces of their action are superimposed, and the areas are not always the same. Therefore, identifying regions (as well as localities) is not a simple task: the approaches of different researchers may be different. And space here is nothing at all. Do not forget that "space" is a product of abstract thinking, and its ability is due to the differentiation of the environment in which the observer is.
The following statements are quite interesting: «Following on from that, it does seem that physical and human geographers have in recent years tended to branch out and go their separate ways. I have always felt that there has perhaps not been enough work done by physical and human geographers coming together. But early in the twentieth century the idea of the region was actually one way that both parts of the discipline could indeed unite around a common theme … . Do you think the region actually served as this unifying concept?» (p. 173).
My remark. In my opinion, such branching of geography (late 19th - early 20th century) was artificial at all and did not have sufficient grounds. This was a result of the fact that geographers could not clearly imagine what geography should study. Unfortunately, we still have that today. I see two reasons for this. First, geographers have encountered a great deal of complexity and have seen a way out to explore the so-called components of nature. Secondly, human was separated from nature and opposed to it, which caused a "need" in the department of human geography and such options as economic, social, political geography, etc. Now the representatives of these artificial directions are resisting.
JIM: «In the early part of the twentieth century we were concerned to describe and understand many aspects of Geography of the Earth with a new degree of detail and precision. The region provided a convenient way of doing that at that time, because a regional homogeneity, either physical or human, provided a framework in which at least one variable was constant. For physical geography this variable may have been relief or climate; for human geography it may have been a political domain or an economic affinity» (p. 174).
My remark. That is the case that representatives of different directions were looking for their variables, instead of looking for one - a common one. This remains a problem today.




Here I was interested in the following. Tim introduces the following question: «We’ve already suggested that what we might call pure forms of physical and human geography, that is systematic forms, were indeed practised in the earlier part of the twentieth century, and so to characterize Geography before the 1960s as largely being concerned with regions and interactions between the physical and human worlds is rather simplistic. It does seem to me that since the 1960s, and we did touch on this a little bit earlier, there has been an increasing divide between physical and human geography which only now is beginning to come back together. It is actually, though, quite difficult to identify precisely why that shift occurred. Would you have any thoughts or insights on that from your own experience? Why was it, say in the 1970s, that most physical geographers had so little engagement with human geographers» (p. 179). And Jim explains: «I’m not sure that I agree with your question. Most of those that I have any research links with have no interest in human geography at the research level. However, if your assumption is correct, then I think that physical geographers in the 1970s were spending all of their mental energy on getting to grips with their research» (p. 180) and on. What is the problem? First, after the two directions diverged, the representatives of each of them did their best to preserve them. Second, human geography had to conduct end-to-end studies from abiotic level to anthropic, which was not done.


An extremely important and complex question posed by Tim: «The difficult question that obviously follows on from this is what is it that makes Geography special?» (p. 182). His answer is as follows: «To me, part of the answer is that one can only understand some of the more pressing global problems, like environmental change or the complexities of social differentiation, or indeed the problems facing people living in the poorer countries of the world, if the physical and the human aspects of those issues are examined together. This being the case, we need each other to try to solve them and have an effective role in the world. Such interactions occur in particular places, and this is why I think that an understanding of place is so crucial» (p. 182).
For Jim, this has a different meaning which he concentrates on the issue: «For a physical geographer, like me, could you define the differences between place and space?» (p. 182).
Tim continues the discussion: «In a nutshell, to me, it is the involvement of people, as emotional beings, in the physical world that creates particular places. I think the word space is abused far too much, and I prefer to see it defined very much in the way that physicists do, particularly in terms of different dimensions within which activities happen and things are shaped. To me, what is shaped is then place (for a more detailed exploration of these ideas, see Unwin, 1992, 2000). Looking out of the window here over the Thames valley, with lots of trees in and houses, is that space? Or are those trees and houses in space?» (p. 182).
My reply. It's hard to disagree! And on:
JIM «That is space.
TIM «And to me, what is in space is what goes to make up place» (p. 182).
JIM «As space, it could be analysed as such without any cultural rationale. Then to understand it you may have to bring that cultural element in, and that’s where I see the role of the human geographer» (p. 182).
My comment. I cannot agree on the role of human geography, because its task is to study the anthropized geo-environment. As for TIM's view of space and place, I would like to point out, firstly, that space does not have dimensions; we introduce them; and by taking things in shape, we can form an image of space. Further, not something that takes shape becomes a place, but places are manifested by the fact that organizational entities emerge in the environment, which we perceive through their position relative to other entities, and are described in the coordinates of space and time (not just space). And geography here to nothing: This is how the world is perceived and constructed in our minds. We see that Jim does not agree with TIM's view:
«I can’t understand how that can be possible» (p. 183).
And TIM responds: «It is quite similar to the concept of landscape   It does seem to me that many physical geographers and human geographers treat the word ‘landscape’ very, very differently. I certainly pick that up in marking undergraduates’ essays where, when they refer to a landscape, and certainly as some geologists do, they are using it almost as a concept devoid of human influence, whereas when most human geographers use the word landscape they really use it to address a much wider idea. It can be a landscape in the mind, the way we look at something can be a landscape, as well as the human creation and shaping of a particular part of the Earth’s surface (see, for example, Cosgrove, 1999)[11]» (p. 183).
Very interesting discussion! Jim concludes «I value the word landscape is that one of the big problems of studying the processes that shaped the landscape of the past, which must be understood if one is going to understand the causes of change, is the tendency to study individual processes, or perhaps small groups of process – for instance river and hillslope process – in isolation. These studies considered, say, river activity, in isolation from, say, biological or biogeochemical processes that were operating in the catchment. Perhaps this was convenient for the research project but it is unrealistic in terms of the way that the landscape develops. Therefore, the word landscape is a word that I use for teaching, to try to emphasize the whole array of processes and interactions» (p. 183 - 184).
My reply. But the processes do not form the landscape, but the structure of the daytime (visible) surface, which we perceive as landscape. Therefore, if we can identify processes that have worked in the past, we can also imagine the corresponding landscapes. And the division of geography into physical and human here to nothing, the concept of "landscape" is not only geographical, but it is also widely used by representatives of various scientific fields - economists, political scientists, sociologists, linguists ... as well as ordinary people. It should be added that the definition of the term "landscape" should not go much beyond what is defined by ordinary citizens.


I cannot agree with the conclusions of the authors. Today it is no longer necessary to talk about the joint work of physical and human variants, because Geography is seen as a holistic science that explores a geographical environment formed by complex heterogeneous formations of the geographical level of complexity. Therefore, you should abandon the names that came up in due course. We have the only one Geography whose general issues are concentrated in such a section as General Geography.

A spatial perspective
Wayne K.D. Davies


The citation. «Globalization is a word that now seems on the lips of every politician, commentator or author. It describes the increasing global spatial flows, interconnections and interdependence of people, information, goods, organizations and states that are connecting people and places at a world scale, and which are creating changes in the structures and organizations of society and places» (p. 189).
My reply. I immediately have the question: are the streams not spatial? This is exactly the case when talking about spatial fetishism.


The citation. «In many ways it is unfortunate that the current use of the term globalization is almost exclusively applied to recent human trends. Geographers, of course, have always been very much aware that there are many physical processes that operate on a global scale or have global effects. But for most of the twentieth century the development of knowledge in the physical and human sides of the subject operated in increasingly separate channels, perhaps not simply a function of the specialization within the field, but also because of the naive environmental determinism of the late nineteenth century, which exaggerated the causal effect of physical processes upon human activity and allowed human agency so little influence» (p. 190).
My reply. I don't see any unfortunate here. Humanity is a young actor in the geographical environment, and only with the onset of the industrialization era did it begin to influence it actively. Therefore, global effect of its activities was not so long ago reflected in the expression "global environmental crisis". As for the interaction between human and physical (preferably natural) geography, I repeat that this division is quite artificial. By the way, the very emergence of human activity as a global actor could cause the separation of human geography.
The authors write that «… the first human globalization took place between 80,000 and 30,000 years ago when Homo sapiens reached Australasia and the Americas, respectively, but our ancestors had no conscious understanding of their global achievement or the technology for continuous contact» (p. 191), but I do not think that the usual spread of Homo sapiens can be considered an example of globalization, because the production activity of these people was negligible and the authors themselves point to the lack of technologies for communication.


The authors give examples of various processes that, through the introduction of new technologies, have contributed to globalization. This is true because it is a matter of significantly accelerating communication between remote territories. But more important, from the point of view of geography, is the question: what new forms of organization of global scale thus arise and how the reorganization of the geographical environment in general does. The authors give examples of various processes that, through the introduction of new technologies, have contributed to globalization. This is true because it is a matter of significantly accelerating communication between remote territories. But more important, from the point of view of geography, is the question: what new forms of organization of global scale thus arise and how the reorganization of the geographical environment in general works. Particularly interesting is the question: if is there a coherence increasing between streams of different origin? Thus, waiting for geographers it is important, not individual examples of increasing flows and their speed, such as the emergence of multinational corporations, but how they form, together with the natural component, a new organizational formation.






My reply. Economics are irrelevant to geography!

Locational variations
My reply. All this is interesting, but it applies only to humanity.

Economic variations
My reply. And where is the geography?

My reply. This is about demographics!

Political variations
My reply. It has to do with political science.

This is the domain of cultural studies. But one question has to do with geography. This is the formation of a new culture - geoculture, the development and distribution of which must lead to the formation of a new person – Homo sapiens divinus.

I would say this: globalization is a process that needs to move the geographical environment to a new state. the task of geography is to identify the variants of movement and the possible consequences of this process.

Part V
The face of Geography

John A. Matthews and David T. Herbert

It is a very good introduction. The authors see the landscape as the "face" of the Earth. In my designs, I used the metaphor of the face of the terrain. It is very similar. For me, landscape is the organization of drawing a day-surface (visible) within the terrain. This organization is associated with the action of many processes, the integral action of which is a landscape process. Landscape is a generalized pattern of terrain that is formed in the human mind. I use the term "day surface" because other options are not clear. This applies to the expression "Earth's surface" and "land surface". But I am categorically opposed to defining the landscape as «emphasize landscapes as spatial units and functioning systems» (p. 217). But I am categorically opposed to defining the landscape as "emphasize landscapes as spatial units and functioning systems" or as communities or ecosystems. It is not a system either, because the system consists of parts and the landscape is an indivisible image. Landscapes should not be divided into 'natural' and 'cultural landscape', rather, these are abiotic (physical), biotized, and anthropotized (eg, agrarian) landscapes.
To me, the following looks strange: «… landscape ecology or geoecology includes a ‘horizontal’ or ‘geographical’ aspect with an emphasis on spatial organization over the landscape, and a ‘vertical’ or ‘ecological’ aspect emphasizing process interaction at particular sites» (p. 218).
My reply. From which point is geography related to the horizontal aspect? Processes that operate in a geographical environment span the entire domain. Basins of rivers and lakes, glacier forelands are not landscape units; they are units of the daytime surface structure, the pattern of which is the basis for the emergence of the corresponding patterns. «Thus, physical geographers see the concept of landscape not only as a means of organizing knowledge of Earth-surface forms and patterns but also as a framework for understanding the interacting processes and mechanisms that bring about change» (p. 218). What is important that is, so to speak, undergrounds the landscape.
The citation. «The debate around environmentalism in general and determinism in particular was a major catalyst and influenced the development of cultural geography by provoking a reaction» (p. 219).
My reply. I believe that if there is cultural geography, then there must be non-cultural geography.
The citation. «The debate that Sauer[12] initiated was strongly based upon the material expressions of human occupancy of landscape, which is still the predominant interpretation of the cultural landscape amongst not only physical geographers but also ecologists and archaeologists. Sauer wrote of ‘a critical system which embraces the phenomenology of landscape’ (Leighly, 1963: 320)[13], a term that meant to him the facts and objects that made up the physical and visible landscape» (p. 219).
My reply. O.C. Sauer is the legend of geography. But I cannot agree with the thesis about "human occupancy of landscape". You can talk about the human occupancy of the day surface, which is manifested in its anthropization and, accordingly, changes its image. Accordingly, the landscape cannot be cultural (transformed), only the day surface can be.

Richard Huggett and Chris Perkins


My reply. It is a pleasure to read such a comprehensive overview of the history of landscape views.


The citation. «Landscape form may be interpreted physically or culturally» (p. 227).
My reply. With respect to the physical identification or interpretation of the phenomenon of landscape, I can doubt that the landscape is a mental image of the terrain, which is built on its perception in various ways, it is a pattern that manifests in our minds. With regard to cultural identification, the question arises: what is culturally identified?

Ecological approaches to form
«Patterns are spatial arrangements of land units» (p. 227).
My reply. I am sceptical of landscape ecology because the representatives of this direction do not interpret the term "landscape" correctly. I also, without being English-speaking, cannot clearly represent the meaning of the term "pattern" - for me, it is a holistic image of something which manifests itself spontaneously in the mind and is not broken down into parts. Therefore, in the above sentence, I would put in the first place the word "arrangements" (as organization) including the path of such an organization. Incidentally, this also applies to the terrain I define as the organization of a height field or morphologic surface shape.

Patches, corridors and matrixes
My vision of landscape ecology is borne out by the following text: «Landscape ecologists traditionally confine their studies to areas up to about 10,000 km2, which is roughly the size of Cheshire in England. Larger areas than that they call regions. The current mainstay of landscape ecology, the patch–corridor–matrix model, has had extraordinary success in explaining many features of species patterns and dynamics. The three landscape elements are themselves made of individual plants (trees, shrubs, herbs), small buildings, roads, fences, small water bodies, and the like. They include natural and human-made landscape components, so the patch–corridor–matrix model integrates the biological and physical aspects of landscapes. Patches are fairly uniform (homogeneous) areas that differ from their surroundings – woods, fields, parks, ponds, rock outcrops, houses, gardens, and so forth. Corridors are strips of land that differ from the land to either side, and are inextricably linked with patches» (p. 227).
My reply. First, I don't think there should be area restrictions. If we talk about, for example, the tundra landscape (generalized), it corresponds to a terrain with a much larger area. On the other hand, there are ‘micro-landscapes’ that correspond to structures that are in small areas, and they are also terrains. Secondly, regions have a very different meaning: they are territories within which certain functional regimes and corresponding structures are formed, but these regimes come to the fore. So the terms "landscape" and "region" are not in the same semantic "plane". Third, the so-called "current basis" of landscape ecology has to do with the structure (morphological and functional) of the day surface, and the landscape (as a pattern) of such a structure will have an appropriate appearance - nodes and network. The invention of such a structure, of course, is not a great achievement. And precisely these morphological units - patch – corridor – matrix - are not landscapes. I am not a landscape ecologist, but once I proposed a general model of the country "Biosphere", as well as based on such a basis.

My reply. This is well known.

Mosaics and regions
The citation. «Landscape elements (patches, corridors and matrixes) combine to form landscape mosaics, within which there is a range of landscape structures. These structures are distinct spatial clusters of ecosystems or land uses or both. Although patches, corridors and matrixes combine in sundry ways to create landscape mosaics, six fundamental types of landscape have been identified: large-patch landscapes, small-patch landscapes, dendritic landscapes, rectilinear landscapes, chequerboard landscapes and interdigitated landscapes» (p. 228).
My reply. Patches, corridors and matrixes are not elements of the landscape; they are elements of the surface morphology! As for the size of the landscapes, it looks completely incorrect: the landscape, being an image, has no dimensions. It should be about the size of the respective terrain to which these landscapes fit.

Cultural approaches to form


The following looks rather strange: «Landform and landscape elements and regions are linked by flows of energy and materials, seeds, spores and individuals» (p. 230). Firstly, not landforms «linked by flows of energy and materials, seeds, spores and individuals» but certain formations that have one form or another, and more true is not a form but a figure. Let's turn to "WikipediA": landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in the landscape is known as topography[14].  Secondly, landscapes do not consist of elements, nor do they exchange streams of matter, energy and something else.
The citation. «The spatial structures and circulations in a landscape involve, and are created by, natural and cultural forces. Landscape dynamics should be a highly eligible topic on which human and physical geographers could collaborate» (p. 230).
My reply. I'm sorry, but nothing is circulating in the landscape, and speaking of dynamics, it is not the landscapes but the daytime surface structures within the respective terrain.


Not the landscapes are read, but the morphological structures of the day surface!

Landscape as ‘machine and system’:
progress and reason

Landscape cannot be a machine and a system, progress and reason!

Landscape as ‘palimpsest’

The landscape is not a palimpsest, it is a structure of the day surface that contains traces of the processes of the past, that is, their "record".

Landscape as ‘taste and value’

Landscape as ‘way of seeing’
My reply. This is a very important conclusion of Dennis Cosgrove!

Landscape as ‘social process’
My reply. In any case, landscape is not a process.

Landscape as ‘text’
My reply. The text is the structure of the day surface, not the landscape, it is the general meaning of what is "written" on the day surface.

Landscape as ‘identity’
My reply. You can talk about individual perception of the terrain, resulting in the uniqueness of each landscape, but this means that none of us will ever know about the features of such an individualized landscape.

Landscape as ‘performance and movement’
My reply. I don't think so!


The citation. «To save and manage the world we must collaborate and share scientific knowledge» (p. 235).
My reply. I do not think that we can manage the world, our task is to learn to manage ourselves, our activities!
The citation. «Geographers are likely to continue to seek to read both the production and consumption of landscapes» (p. 235).
My reply. That sounds weird: can't talk about production and consumption of landscapes.

Lesley Head


I will answer yes to what the author wrote. I graduated from Kharkiv University in 1971 from the Department of Physical Geography and my diploma was simply "Geography". For many years, I did not understand what economic, socio-economic geographers were doing. In the 1980s, I began to consider the interaction of society and nature and also became interested in the landscape, because it was not clear to me what Soviet geography was writing about this phenomenon. In the 1990s I came to the conclusion that the object of geography research should be the geographical environment as a whole. And this medium has passed the path of evolution from abiotic to biotized (the biosphere), and then to the anthropized (anthroposphere). The main actors are gradually agreed with each other, the result is a nesting organization. In this view, there is no separation between "physical" and "human" geography, because the geographer must regard the geographical environment as a coherent entity.
The author writes: «The starting point used here is Carl Sauer’s cultural landscape» (p. 240). In the course of formation of scientific views the terminology changes. Yes, the concept of "cultural landscape" was introduced at one time, but I posed the question that then a landscape also can be uncultured. It seems to me the "cultural landscape" should be understood as ennobled or cultivated, better yet, anthropized. But are such changes always positive? So it all depends on what we mean by culture. The question is: if culture (as a chosen mode of behaviour) leads to environmental transformation, then can this concept be applied to a biota which activity also leads to corresponding changes in the abiotic environment? I believe this may be the case.



The author raises very important questions. As regards the understanding of culture, culturologists should express themselves here, although geographers should not remain aloof because they are dealing with society. It's interesting to see culture as Anderson and Gale do - "a dynamic mix of symbols, beliefs, languages and practices that people create, not a fixed thing or entity governing humans"[15] (p. 243). There is no doubt that different cultures are formed under different conditions. That is why I focus on defining culture as the chosen (selection) mode of behaviour of groups of people, as the organization of selected acts of behaviour.
The citation. «The critique of Sauerian approaches has broadened the subject matter of cultural geography far beyond the physical expression of culture in the landscape» (p. 243).
My reply. Physical expression of culture in the landscape cannot be, it takes place in the structure of the day surface, which simply leads to a change in its image: it is already a different landscape.
The citation. «For these and other reasons, the term cultural landscape seems to carry too much baggage, and it has virtually fallen out of the human geography lexicon» (p. 244).
My reply. It was supposed to happen!

My reply. This is a very good review!


The citation. «The second main thread that I highlighted in the introduction starts with the ontological separation of nature and space in human geography. This separation has been as influential in the way culture/landscape interactions have been discussed as has the physical/human divide» (p. 246).
My reply. I think the mistake of geographers is that they separate the natural (in the English-speaking tradition, the physical) and the human, forgetting that the Human is a product of Nature, it is selected and localized quality. Therefore, there are some problems and, apparently, the need for a division of geography into two branches. I think it must be assumed that everything that humanity doesn’t go beyond the limits allowed by Nature. And M. Fitzsimmons right, writing that
«Consider the proposition that Nature as we know it was invented in the differentiation of city and countryside, in the differentiation of mental and manual labor, and in the abstraction of contemporary culture and consciousness from the necessary productive social work of material life. (Fitzsimmons, 1989: 108)[16]» (p. 246), and further: «Urban-economic geography took Space as its unique object of analysis; but it was Space devoid of nature» (p. 246).


Cultural landscape as a land management category
My reply. I have already spoken about the combination of human and natural principles. I think it only applies to those who still perceive them as being detached, in the real world they have never been apart, and the concept of the cultural landscape cannot be used as a basis for connection.

Rereading the forest


It is very interesting: «The pathway I sketch out here may look something like Murdoch’s (1997b) geography of heterogeneous associations. It may involve ‘a relation of connection without a “specious unity”’ (Massey, 1999b: 275, quoting Deleuze, 1995). This is important in allowing us to take on the big questions that are demanded of us, without pretending that we can understand the whole. Rather, we can be more precise about which spaces and times our evidence relates to, and which not. It is no accident that most of our examples of people even attempting big picture research are in prehistoric or non-Western contexts, where a more limited data set permits the illusion of being able to get a handle on the system as a whole. In this respect, Fairhead and Leach’s work is important in specifying which windows of visibility different types of evidence relate to …» (p. 250).
My position. We are used to seeing the individual, and not seeing the whole, just trying to build his image. That is why geography is delayed in its formation.

Scale and the concept of space–time

It is very interesting: «for time genuinely to be held open, space could be imagined as the sphere of the existence of multiplicity, of the possibility of the existence of difference. Such a space is the sphere in which distinct stories coexist, meet up, affect each other, come into conflict or cooperate. This space is not static, not a cross-section through time; it is disrupted, active and generative. It is not a closed system; it is constantly, as space–time, being made» (p. 251).
My reply. The discussion of space and time is far from over. But in my opinion, the best definition of space and time was given by Gottfried Leibniz. I believe that ideas about space and time are possible because there are processes in the environment that create heterogeneity, and these processes are multifaceted. Therefore, space and time are both relative and non-static. So events are not to be seen in space and time, but thanks to events, the actions of processes, we are able to form abstractions of space and time.

Focus on both materiality and representation


Beyond ‘human impacts’

My reply. At the end of the section, the author expresses very important thoughts regarding the problems in geography. I advise all geographers to get acquainted with this useful material.

Part VI
Contributing to real-world problem solving

David T. Herbert and John A. Matthews

I cannot disagree with what the authors write. I cannot disagree with what the authors write. At the same time, I cannot support their view on cartography, the products of which are merely a means of doing some research. The problem of using geography for applied purposes has been and remains very complex. In my opinion, this is explained by the enormous complexity of the object of study of geography - the geographical environment. We do not have the ability to formulate laws as is the case in physics, chemistry, and engineering. But we can take advantage of the common achievements that are, for example, in organizational theory. If an understanding of how organization theory, catastrophe theory, phases transition theory, etc. can be brought to bear on geographic formations, I think, geography can become an applied discipline.
The citation. «Research might be concerned with the key concepts that underlie applied geography. These include those explored by Smith (1977) in the geography of welfare, by Harvey (1973) in his essays on social justice or by Cooke and Doornkamp (1990) with reference to environmental management» (p. 261).
My reply. I do not think that the examples of research provided by the authors are correct. Geography is not relevant to these issues. Regarding environmental management, I would like to emphasize once again that we can only talk about managing our own activities. Somewhat surprising are the authors' statements such as: «Human geographers became acutely aware of the massive problems of poverty, deprivation, racial inequality and gender disadvantage …» (p. 262). This problem is not geographic in nature.

David E. Alexander






The citation. «To a certain extent in these works the synthesis of physical and human geography occurred right from the earliest days of scientific geography» (p. 269).
My reply. I think so. Geography was initially formed as a holistic discipline, and subsequently, a disconnect emerged that was artificial and the result of a misunderstanding of the features that distinguished the domain of geography. By the way, the name "resource geography" is wrong.







Ian Douglas and Alan G. Gilbert




My reply. But demographic issues are irrelevant to geography!

Defining poverty
My reply. It has nothing to do with geography!

Quantifying the number of people living in poverty
My reply. It has nothing to do with geography!

The widening gap between rich and poor
My reply. It has nothing to do with geography!


My reply. It has nothing to do with geography! Urbanization is undoubtedly a process that geographers must consider, as it is a relatively new form of organization of the geographical environment. Unfortunately, I don't see it in this work.






Michael E. Meadows and Maano F. Ramutsindela


These are very important statements: «The quest to unify a divided Geography has been less than successful for reasons that contributors to this volume have already advanced. Nonetheless, ongoing attempts to bridge the gap between human and physical geography promise to reclaim the high ground of the discipline. As in the past, the challenge at hand is to establish the foundation on which the unity of the discipline should be built. The tendency has been to offer a critique of the human–nature distinctions. In this chapter, we propose a move beyond that critique and suggest the deployment of concepts that require the application of our knowledge of the ‘physical’ and ‘human’ worlds. To this end, we employ concepts of conservation, preservation and heritage as avenues for integrating geographical knowledge in practice» (p. 305).
My reply. The failure of the combination of physical and human geography is explained by the fact that supporters of each of these areas want to remain original. And if within the realm of physical geography we really had serious achievements (though there were questions in this sphere), then the so-called human geography was engaged in everything that got into the economy, production, politics, demography, cultural studies, education, etc. It was natural: being artificially created, this direction swelled, but now it blows away because everything created artificially, having reached its climax, is destroyed. Each geographical study must begin with an abiotic basis, then considers the impact of the biota and, finally, embarks on the transformations caused by human activity. This will be a true geographical study. And so-called human geographers just ignored (and do so now) the first two levels.
The citation. «The chapter begins by analysing the concepts of conservation and preservation in the context of society–nature relations. Generally, conservation is viewed mainly in the context of the so-called ‘natural’ environment (e.g. conservation of biodiversity) and preservation mainly in the context of the constructed environment, be it urban or rural. In light of this, and against the backdrop of physical and human geographical approaches, we employ the concept of heritage as a dynamic concept that has a bearing on the ‘natural environment’ while, at the same time, encapsulating cultural factors» (p. 305).
My reply. I think that within the geographical study of the problem of "conservation" should not consider the issue, not in the context of relations between nature and society, but to take the environment as a whole and determine its condition under the condition of the presence of the main actors - Nature and Man. Therefore, at one time I proposed a way out of the crisis, which was a geographical environment - the compression of the anthropic domain, reducing the area occupied, primarily, agricultural production through the introduction of new technologies. And not to talk about the built environment (whether urban or rural), it is a transformed environment, and this transformation was unmanageable, the task now is to look at the problem from a different perspective: not the environment for man, but man and the environment as one. Then the division between society and Nature will disappear.





The thesis of preservation had long to be abandoned. The concept of the Biosphere Country should be put at the forefront, based on the creation of a global spatial and functional structure, which should ensure the sustainable functioning of the biosphere as a leading actor of the geographical environment, and society should adapt to this structure. Then there is no need to talk about protection and preservation. And this issue must be dealt with quite harshly. All the rest are empty chats that will lead to nothing. Look what is being done in the Amazon, around the Baikal, in the Ukrainian Polissya, not to mention huge plowing areas! The modern man cannot be stopped in the desire to enrich himself by destroying biogeocenoses. The creation of national parks and reserves does not solve this problem, because these are separate territories separated from others. And this task is geographic in its complexity.











Part VII

David T. Herbert and John A. Matthews

The citation. «The final two contributions to this text are set in a wider context than any preceding section. They address the idea that there are broader frameworks, perhaps involving recent change, in which both theory and practice in Geography can be considered. For these two contributions, the task in this introduction is to identify their particular roles in the continuing process of evolution of the discipline and their place in the search for unity» (p. 321).
My reply. t is very important that the authors present geography not as frozen ground, but as an area of evolving science. But I do not think that in order to find a path to unity, we should expand the framework, we must find a common basis and abandon the traditional division into branches of geography. I fully agree that the key issue is the key paradigms. But I do not think the B.L.Turner[17] is right about such paradigms. It is a competition between spatial-horological identity, on the one hand, and human-environment identity, on the other, although these paradigms have played an important role in finding the basis for unity. I think that unity is achieved not because of the competition of these paradigms, but in the understanding that the division of geography was caused by the rapid development of society in the time of industrialization. And the real paradigm that returns geography to integrity is the organization of the geographical environment.
The citation.  «Human geography remains a broad church that contains as many disparities and divergences in approaches and concepts as are found across its ‘disciplinary boundary’. Natural and social science are similarly broad churches and their breadth should be sufficient to accommodate a future Geography» (p. 322). Here is what the authors write: «Human geography remains a broad church that contains as many disparities and divergences in approaches and concepts as are found across its ‘disciplinary boundary’. Natural and social science are similarly broad churches and their breadth should be sufficient to accommodate a future Geography» (p. 322).
My reply. Thus, it is said that the representatives of the so-called "human geography" are confused and misleading the scientific community. Thus, it is said that the representatives of the so-called "human geography" are confused and misleading the scientific community. The spread of geography that Turner writes about is not a positive thing, it just makes the "body" of geography less concentrated.
The citation.  «The broad framework in which theory in Geography rests may well be at a crossroads. A discipline that develops beneath the umbrella of science will find it increasingly difficult to identify with the current ongoing thrusts towards postmodernism and critical theory» (p. 322), onwards: «For Bonnett (2003)[18], the low public profile of academic Geography and its decoupling from both popular and school Geography have become widespread concerns. There are clear signs that Geography needs to identify with and focus on its core functions» (p. 323).
My reply. In these statements, we highlight the authors' real concern about the future of geography. But most of those involved in geography today do not embrace it, believing that they will have enough for their lives and you may not notice critical remarks. They are very wrong. With regard to school geography, this is a very difficult problem today. It is far removed from the ideas that today mark the path to future geography. As for the time-space issue the authors write about, I have already noted my vision and will return to it when discussing Chapter 15.
And this is important: «The policy strand in this section also has precedents in this text. Geographers have a distinguished record of involvements both in public policy and in the production of evidence-based research. Both these contributions have been less to the forefront in the recent past, particularly perhaps in human geography. Yet neglect of these dimensions to the discipline would be a mistake» (p. 323).
My reply. There are geographers who have even introduced political geography. But this is a common fabrication. There can be no political geography. Political science exists to address political issues, and that is enough. You should not go into other domains, you need to understand your own. Another thing is getting geographers involved in political initiatives.

Individuals, emergence and geographies of space and place
Keith Richards, Michael Bithell
and Michael Bravo


This is an extremely important text because it demonstrates how deeply the terms "space" and "time" sit in the minds of researchers who continue to search and discuss the place of what is not: «There have been recent attempts to reassess the nature and role of space and time in Geography (for example, Raper and Livingstone, 1995; Massey, 1999). These highlight the fact that, despite the apparent centrality of ‘space’ to the geographical imagination (and indeed, project), there are various interpretations amongst geographers of the meaning of ‘space’ and its relationship to ‘time’. There have been arguments for a distinction between space and time, implying that there is something qualitatively and conceptually different about these dimensions of existence, with space imposing a static representation, and time imparting dynamism. In spite of objections to the ‘physics envy’ it implies, the discussion has been attracted to Einstein’s relativistic conception (‘the curvature of space–time’), in preference to a Newtonian view. This preference in part arises because, in a postmodern view of space–time, the relativistic reading appears to destabilize the rigidity of the classical formulation. For physical geographers, this diversity is often puzzling, because theirfocus is commonly on underlying mechanisms which vary across space, and cause various processes of change over time. One of the fundamental criticisms of the Davisian model of landscape evolution was that it implied that the passage of time (in the cycle of erosion) was interpreted as a mechanism in its own right, when change in the landscape arises because the action of various processes over time brings about this change. A similar argument can be made about space, and space–time can be seen simply as a frame of reference within which mechanisms become processes that cause change in various phenomena or structures. This may seem a simplistic view of space–time, but the purpose of this chapter is to show that such a classical physical concept of space and time provides a rich source for interpreting the world as normally experienced, generally without the need to invoke circumstances that require us to move at or near the speed of light!» (p. 327 - 328).
My reply. I do not know where the authors took the obvious centrality of "space" in geographical imagination? Maybe someone thinks so, but not all. It is written that the discussion was drawn to Einstein's relativistic concept ("distortion of space - time"), although this is a very abstract theory. In fact, there is a distorted environment, and space and time are just parameters that allow this environment to be represented by decomposing it into spatial and temporal components. As a consequence, its integrity, that is determined by the organization (it is worth mentioning the evolution of computer technology), is lost, very interesting is the feature of the Davis model, from which "it follows that the passage of time (in the erosion cycle) is interpreted as a mechanism in itself, when the change of landscape arises through the action of different processes over time that changes." Yes, if you forget about time, the process-driven change comes to the fore: time disappears. I completely agree that this can be done with space - just set it aside, then the process will come to the fore. It becomes clear that not processes are determined by space-time, but, conversely, the existence of processes in the environment allows you to create an idea of ​​space and time.
And on: «‘Space’ can be conceived as an expression of areal extent, leading to the requirement for an ‘exploration of space’; it can also be thought of as a form of areal carrying capacity – as in ‘we need more space’. There are several related factors or concepts, such as distance, density, place (being a location in space, or the character of that location) and, that particularly geographical spatial entity, region. The distinction between space and time is muddied by the fact that space can sometimes be employed as a unit of time – a journey across a physical space might take place ‘in the space of an hour’. There are also less stable, less formal definitions. Space is a phenomenon that might be considered to be socially constituted – certainly our concepts of distance have changed as the efficiencies of transport and communication have increased, and as a result we now occupy more space, both physically and mentally (but, simultaneously and paradoxically, also less space as at least some of us experience globalization). There is also the question of the phenomenon referred to in the social sciences as ‘spatiality’, whose definition is elusive, but which seems less about intrinsic properties of space than it is about the human experience of space, and the effects of this on human behaviour. Indeed, this seems to reflect the notion of space being the frame over which social and psychological processes act, with those processes affecting, and being affected by, human behaviour. If space is socially constructed, there is no reason to deny the simultaneous existence of both ‘space’ as an independent frame of reference, and ‘spatiality’ as a subjective experience which is a surrogate for effects whose impact on humans varies with distance and its perception (cf. Hacking, 1999).» (p. 328 - 329).
My reply. Extremely interesting thoughts! But I do not think that "space" can be considered as the length of the area, especially in the sense of carrying capacity - as in 'we need more space', because it depends on the way of organization (this is well manifested in the production sphere). As for relative factors or concepts, such as distance, density, place and, that particular geographical spatial entity, region, then distance is not the same as space (but where did the time go?), "Density" is determined by the nature of the interaction, "place "is a topology, and the region is not a spatial entity but an organizational entity that has its domain among others. Therefore, it is necessary to depart from the tradition based on images of space and time, although it is difficult - they are too deeply seated in the minds of people.

This material is interesting, but let's not forget that dimension does not exist but a priori, we chose three-dimensional space and four-dimensional space-time, because such a dimension is the simplest and most convenient.

Euler and Lagrange



Figure 15.2: Interesting scheme. But for me, instead of "Relief" there should be "Surface Morphology".


This material is very important for geographers.


The citation.  «…in human geography ‘space’ is itself sometimes viewed almost as a process in itself. … It means that ‘space’ is here being treated as synonymous with ‘region’, and ‘regions’ are continually being redefined, at various scales, either because the character of places changes, or because the value placed on different variables or properties as measures of the nature and character of a place change» (p. 341).
My reply. I see confusion here. The image of space is generated by processes that operate at different scale levels, in one way or another, organizing the environment, resulting in it becoming heterogeneous, but only in such an environment can the concept of "space" be developed. So space cannot be a process in itself.


This material is very useful for geographers.



A political turn
Brian Robson and Elizabeth Shove


Such questions are important, but this is more about organizing geography than science.


Prospects for the discipline
John A. Matthews and David T. Herbert

In my opinion, the statements of Abler et al. contains a view from the past when it was believed that humanity should use the resources of the planet. This is a false view: humanity must reach a level of cultural development when the natural environment is seen not as a resource base, but as a complement to man. Human society must go by way of coherence with the Biosphere as one of the leading actors in the geographical environment. This significantly changes the emphasis in geographical studies.


The citation. «Geography is more dynamic than it has ever been, but the discipline is commonly perceived as lacking unity. The widening gap between the physical and human subdisciplines since the mid-twentieth century, in terms of ideology and methodology …. Coherence and identity has been weakened by the many divergent pathways taken by geographers. There has been an explosive growth of specialities … and a drift towards other disciplines, such as environmental science and sociology. Divergence within Geography is therefore occurring to the extent that some consider that human and physical geography are ‘splitting apart’ (Thrift, 2002: 295); …» (p. 369).
My reply. It really took place. It came to the geography of dental services, the geography of weddings, and now gene geography and other options. This is evidence that for a long time geography did not have clearly defined limitations and clear perceptions of its field of study. Now, this is the erosion of understanding: it is the organization of the geographical environment in various forms - from abiotic variants to biotized and anthropized. But that doesn't mean throwing away what was done before was a great experience. As for centrifugal and centripetal forces affecting the contemporary discipline, this is the normal path of development of all complex entities. But now we must work on combining all areas into a single discipline based on the concept of organizing the geographical environment as a whole.


The authors have clearly shown what scientific discipline is.
They cite Haggett's scheme (Figure 17.1)[19] - Geography within the constellation of disciplines, which I cannot agree with. I will focus only on the main points. Undoubtedly, geography has contacts with other scientific fields, but it cannot affect its structure, as shown in the diagram. First, there are scientific disciplines, and there are research methods ("Statistics, probability," "Quantitative methods," etc.), and these are different things. Second, Haggett identifies "EARTH SCIENCES GROUP" - "Quaternary studies", "Climatology", "Geomorphology", but does not include "Biogeography", which is related to Biology, although it is not a biological discipline - it is a purely geographical discipline (not environmental) exploring the organization of a biotized environment. Climatology and Meteorology should be combined into Atmology (atmospheric science). Geomorphology is also a geographical discipline. Further, Haggett lists a number of disciplines that are artificial - "Population geography", "Political geography", "Economic geography". The scheme has twice encountered "Spatial organization", although it is unclear what it is. I will not dwell on other issues. What is important is that in such an embodiment, geography looks like a collective saltine. I also cannot agree with the authors regarding «a distinctive combination of physical and human subject matter with the theories and methodology necessary for effective research into the complexities of the Earth's surface» (p. 373). If we consider the whole geographic environment as an object of geography, there is no need for differentiation of our science.


The citation. «If geographers are to be effective in the development of knowledge and its applications, they have to continue to make a contribution that no others can make, or to contribute substantially and exceptionally to major debates. It is difficult to see how Geographers can make a sustained contribution of this type without it being founded on the unifying themes» (p. 373).
My reply. I totally agree with that. Therefore, in the first place, we should reject the superfluous thing that has been invented in the past decades (and this is, above all, a limitation of specialization), and look for ways of exploring forms of organization of geographical entities as unities of different scales.


The citation. «The subject matter of Geography – the surface of the Earth – involves a complex phenomenon that allows a discipline of almost limitless scope. Tangible and intangible, biophysical and human aspects of the geoecosphere – landforms, water, vegetation and animal life, soils, climates, populations, settlements, societies, cultures, economies, policies, ideas – are investigated both separately and in terms of their interactions; over space and through time; at local to global scales; and at various depths and levels of explanation or understanding of underlying processes. Our heritage and the fields of interest of other disciplines tell us, and logic dictates, that geographers must occupy only a subset of all possible aspects of the surface of the Earth. Any subset that attempts to specify those aspects of the Earth’s surface created by nature and modified by human action – Geography’s ‘abiding and distinctive objects of study’ (Abler et al., 1992: 2) – is, however, itself too broad to provide an unambiguous basis for unity. Places, regions and landscapes perhaps come closest to defining geographical objects of study but the complexity of these ‘objects’, and the various ways they can be constructed, hinder the development of agreed definitions» (p. 375).
My reply. No, the surface of the Earth is not the subject matter of Geography! This is a geographical environment, better - a geographically organized environment, that is, a heterogeneous one, which is characterized by complex dynamics, since there are three main actors in the interaction - abiota, biota and anthropota, and each of them is also complex. And the surface of the Earth, or rather, the day surface, is the display on which complex dynamics write text using surface morphological characters. The overall meaning of this text is perceived as landscape. «Tangible and intangible, biophysical and human aspects of the geoecosphere – landforms, water, vegetation and animal life, soils, climates, populations, settlements, societies, cultures, economies, policies, ideas – are investigated both separately and in terms of their interactions; over space and through time; at local to global scales; and at various depths and levels of explanation or understanding of underlying processes» (p. 375) are not the subject of research by geographers, but geographers may use the results of research obtained by specialists in other scientific fields, but geographers may use research findings from other scientific backgrounds to help answer questions.
The citation. «The essence of Geography has, therefore, to be sought in its key concepts – such as space, place and environment – as they relate to and link selected aspects of the Earth’s surface …» (p. 376).
My reply. No, the essence of Geography is the organization of a heterogeneous dynamic environment in which entities that are inherently geographical are formed and disintegrate.
The citation. «Because it is not possible to define a single, simple conceptual focus, Geography has always been regarded as a discipline of synthesis but this involves more than merely using the concepts and theories from other disciplines» (p. 376).
My reply. No, to define a single, simple conceptual focus Geography can be defined, it is an organization based on communication, interaction of actors. And this is the basis that restrains the centrifugal forces within the body of geography.


The citation. «A way forward is to identify the smallest number of terms that reflect the concepts that are essential to the discipline of Geography (Table 17.2). Each of these terms has resonance in the roots of geographical thought and is an integral part of the history of the discipline. The terms are meant as labels or representative indicators (rather than literal words) for the catalysts around which schools of thought have coalesced. This idea bears some resemblance to, but is different from, previous attempts to define low-order ‘elements’ or ‘primitives’ from which more complex concepts can be built (cf. Nystuen, 1963; Golledge, 1995)» (p. 377).
My reply. This is a true view of the evolution of science. Take Soviet-Russian geography, "landscape science". We have three terms that are used to denote one entity - the geocomplex, geosystem, and landscape, between which there is no difference. This leads to confusion, but, being shrouded in tradition, geographers continue to use them. However, they do not pay attention to the fact that the term "geosystem" should mean the system image (model) of a certain formation, and the landscape is a pattern of terrain.
The authors then discuss the importance of space for geography, considering it as a major component. It is impossible to agree with this and there is no simplicity and obviousness here. Space is an abstraction that arises due to the heterogeneity of the medium and the presence of solids. I think the closest to understanding space and time is G.W. Leibniz, who put it this way: I have repeatedly emphasized that I consider space, as well as time, to be something purely relative: space is the order of existence, and time is the order of sequences. For space, from the point of view of possibility, denotes the order of simultaneous things, since they exist together, without touching their specific way of being. When they see a few things together, and then realize the order in which things are in relation to each other. To refute the opinion of those who consider space to be a substance or at least some kind of absolute essence, I have some evidence ... But if space is nothing but this order or relation, and if it is nothing without bodies, as soon as the opportunity to give them a certain position, it is these two states - the initial and the reversed - that do not differ from each other in anything. Their difference is contained only in our chimerical assumption of the reality of space in itself. Therefore, space can not only be a key, but also a component in general, and geography cannot be described as a "discipline of distance", as J.W. Watson[20] thought. And the dynamic environment in the heap with our memory allows us to form such an abstraction as "time". As for Table 17.2 - Essential components of the core of Geography and their qualifying dimensions (p. 379), I would leave only "environment" and "process" though they are also widely used. I cannot agree with the so-called "spatial-chorological approach" - this approach is applied in all-natural sciences and social sciences. The concept of "place" I discussed above. It is not purely geographical term and its meaning indicates that it is related to the topology. The place does not reflect "individual and group identity" or "biophysical environmental differences", but the differences that exist in the environment allow us to form ideas about certain entities (not just geographical ones) and their positions with respect to other entities, and these will be places.
The following statement is very strange: «Region is an expression of place, as is landscape» (p. 380). Regions cover a specific territory, and as they are manifested on different scales, therefore, they have a place to consider when considering their topological dimension. And the landscape takes place only in the human mind, because it is an image of the terrain, so the place is characterized not by the landscape, but by the terrain.
Now let's consider the medium. You can interpret it either as an environment or as a distributed material entity of which we ourselves are. This is an attractive option for me - this is exactly what I mean. So when we say "geographical environment", it means that it can be in different states, including geographically organized one. In this sense, the term "environment" corresponds to Humboldt's vision - as a term that reflects the holistic vision, and protecting the environment means protecting moms from themselves. The division into humanity and the environment as something external to it disappears, and we get truly integrity.
I will refer to "map" as "as the fourth of the essential components", it is not. This is simply one of the options for data capture and handling.


The citation. «Physical and human geographers trace changes over time, study the dynamics of landscape or peoples, examine flows of water, immigrants, energy or ideas as part of their normal practice» (p. 381).
My reply. Somewhat surprisingly, geographers view "the dynamics of landscape or peoples, examine flows of water, immigrants, energy or ideas as part of their normal practice". Landscapes (and these are terrain images) change abruptly when the relevant structure of the day surface accumulates critical changes), we notice the change of people from time to time, i.e. also discreetly, the flows of water, immigrants, energy are irrelevant to geography, especially to ideas. As for "time", this is a common scientific practice.
The citation. «The third qualifying dimension is openness. Its corollary, the concept of boundedness, is commonly used in Geography to demarcate territories, including geographical units such as climatic regions, drainage basins, neighbourhoods, spheres of influence and ecological communities» (p. 382).
My reply. But this is also the case in all scientific fields that describe the world. But climate, neighbourhoods and ecological communities are irrelevant to geography.
The citation. «Scale is the fourth qualifying dimension. Geography is concerned with varying scales – from local to global – and absolute space remains significant …» (p. 382).

My reply. You can agree that "scale" is important in geography, but it is not relevant to the essence of those entities that study geography, which are forms of organization of the geographical environment. I can't understand what demographics may have and what «population geography» is. These questions are related to a separate scientific area "Demography"! Such records cause significant damage to geography.


I will not comment on the entire text of this section, as a review of these issues have been made above. I will stop at Figure 17.2 - Integrated Geography, physical and human geography, and geographical specializations in relation to core and periphery of the disciplinary field of Geography (p. 384).

So what has happened? Initially, single geography was divided into physical and human, then other, smaller directions began to emerge, which their representatives tried to give legitimate status, and now we see an attempt to combine all this "happiness" into some unified geography by searching for the core. But such an association looks just as artificial.


The citation. «Several alternative future directions can be envisaged for Geography, of which three are:
• ‘Anything goes’ scenario
• ‘Subdisciplinary dominance’ scenario
• ‘Expanded core’ scenario» (p. 385).
My reply. I think these "scenarios" are misleading. Geographers should strive to get rid of everything artificial that has been invented in the past decades and to take as their basis the unique feature of the geography domain that ensures its true unity. And this is a study of forms of organization of the geographical environment based on co-adaptation of the main actors - abiots, biota and anthropota.


My reply. Everything I could write about “Conclusion”, I have already written above.


Now, let's try to answer the question: holistic Geography is it one that integrates artificial directions – Unified Geography, or one based on an understanding of the existence of a specific domain that defines the sole purpose of the study – General Geography? I think that General Geography should be central to that section of Geography that contains the basic principles on which research should be conducted. And this, first of all, is that the object of the study of Geography is the geographical environment, its forms of organization as a result of the complex interaction of the main actors - abiots, biota and anthropota. As a result, we have an evolutionary sequence in the form of an abiotic geo-environment (it is formed by the interaction of litho-matter, water and air), the biosphere (is the result of the development of the biota and its impact on the abiotic environment), and the anthroposphere (which arises in the course of human evolution). Each successive level of organization is embedded in the previous ones, covers a smaller domain and is characterized by more complex dynamics and the whole movement is covered by a single process - the geo-process. All geographical entities are invited to put the concept of "geoholon" or "geoorg" in line. The first focuses on the integrity of formations, the second - on its organizational essence. Thus, the main aspect becomes organizational, and leading concepts involved in the reflection of entities are "organization", "information" and "information machine", "communication", "integrity", "coherence". This puts Geography at the forefront in solving a number of global problems. This vision requires fundamentally another education for geographers. As the geo-process has led to the emergence of three major levels of organization of the geo-environment, the structure of geography must also have three main divisions - geomorphology, biogeography and anthropogeography, each of which may have different specific directions. For example, in the structure of Geomorphology can be distinguished fluvial, aeolian, glacial and karst geomorphology etc., in the structure of Biogeography - biogeography of anaerobic geoholons, biogeography of aerobic geocholons, as well as higher organisms, etc., in the structure of Anthropogeography - the organization of hunter-gatherer geoholons, agro-geography, techno-geography, urban geography, region geography, noo-geography and other variants. Paleogeography along with Quaternary geology/geography should be a separate area. Its task is to reproduce the regimes of past times and the ways of evolution of the geographical environment. Such differentiation requires widespread discussion, but, above all, it must reflect the course of development of forms of organization of geographical entities. Although geography is considered to be one of the oldest scientific fields, in fact, we are just beginning to create it. This "lag" is explained by the fact that it has an extremely complex object of study.

Oleksa Kovalyov

[1] The authors cite the following publication: Haggett P. (1990) The Geographer’s Art, Oxford: Blackwell.
[3] The authors refer to the following Turner’s work: Turner B.L., II (2002) ‘Contested identities: human–environment Geography and disciplinary implications in a restructuring academy’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 92: 52–74.
[4] The authors cite the following publication: Milton, K. (1993) ‘Environmentalism and anthropology’, in K. Milton (ed.) Environmentalism – The View from Anthropology, London: Routledge, 1–17.
Milton, K. (1996) Environmentalism and Cultural Theory, London: Routledge.
[5] The authors refer to the following work: Whittlesey, D. (1954) ‘The regional concept and the regional method’, in P.E. James and C.F. Jones (eds) American Geography: Inventory and Prospect, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 19–68.

[6] The authors refer to the following work: Vidal de la Blache, P. (1926) Principles of Human Geography, London: Constable.

[7] The authors refer to the following work: Hartshorne, R. (1939) ‘The nature of Geography: a critical survey of current thought in the light of the past’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 29: 173–658.
[8] The authors refer to the following work: Sack, R.D. (2001) ‘The geographic problematic: empirical issues’, Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, 55: 107–116.

[9] The authors refer to the following work: Tuan, Y.F. (1976) ‘Humanistic geography’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 66: 266–276.
[10] This scheme raises a number of questions, including the existence of historical geography. I think that there is a historical aspect in geography, but there is no historical geography, it is fiction.
[11] The authors refer to the following work: Cosgrove, D. (1999) Mappings, London: Reaktion - https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=OOlaOUnr3-YC&printsec=frontcover&hl=ru#v=onepage&q&f=false.
[12] The authors refer to the following work: Sauer, C. (1925) ‘The morphology of landscape’, University of California Publications in Geography, 2: 19–54.

[13] The authors refer to the following work: Leighly, J. (ed.) (1963) Land and Life: A Selection of the Writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer, Berkeley: University of California Press.
[15] The authors refer to the following work: Anderson, K. and Gale, F. (1992) ‘Introduction’, in K. Anderson and F. Gale (eds) Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography, Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1–14.
[16] The authors refer to the following work: Fitzsimmons, M. (1989) ‘The matter of nature’, Antipode, 21: 106–120.
[17] The authors refer to the following work: Turner, B.L. (2002) ‘Contested identities: human–environment geography and disciplinary implications in a restructuring academy’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 92: 52–74.

[18] The authors refer to the following work: Bonnett, A. (2003) ‘Geography as the world discipline: connecting popular and academic geographical limitations’, Area, 35:55–63.
[19] The authors refer to the following work: Haggett, P. (2001) Geography: A Global Synthesis, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
[20] The authors refer to the following work: Watson, J.W. (1955) ‘Geography: a discipline in distance’, Scottish Geographical Magazine, 71: 1–13.

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