Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pre-Modern Period Geographer


1. Cluvarius - German geographer of 17th century. Wrote introduction to universal geography. Emphasized & wrote on regional geog.

2. Varenius or Bernhard Varen (1622-1650) - German. Wrote Geographia Generalis. Laid down the foundation of the dichotomy of “Systematic Vs Regional Geography. Divided general or systematic geography into Absolute (terrestrial), Relative (Planetary-earth relationship with other parts) & the Comparative (location, navigation) parts. Advocated highest temperatures in tropics rather than equator. Believed in heliocentric concept of Copernicus, Kepler & Galileo.

3. J.R. Forster & J.G. Forster - Father & son in that order. Accompanied Captain Cook on his voyage. Visited Volga steppe on invitation of the Russian government. There method of working has been often named ‘comparative method’.

4. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) - German. Professor of Geography at the university of Konigsberg. Gave philosophical dimension to geography. Gave logical classification (similar origin) & physical classification (same time). Physical classification gives the basis for geography & history. Identified physical geography as including not only natural features but also man. World as perceived by inner senses is soul & by outer senses is nature. Laid down the foundation of “Exceptionalism” in Geography i.e. geography & history are methodologically distinct from other sciences. Said that generalization in the form of laws is useless in geography & regarded it as as “Idiographic”. Geography was chorological & history – chronological.

5. Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859 AD) - “Father of Modern Geography”. Coined the term “Cosmography” & divided it into Uranography (astronomy), geography (physical feature) & Concept of whole (visualized earth as inseparable whole). Affect of altitude, Temperature variation at same latitude with distance from sun, Map showing isotherms (invention), concept of Continentality, Coined
the term “Permafrost” Extensive studies of Ecuadorian volcanoes, Concluded that graphite, gneiss are of volcanic origin, description of vertical zones of Andes, Humboldt or Peruvian current. Exact longitude calculation for Lima, established correlation between forest & rainfall. Lake Valenica in Venezuela was shrinking due to deforestation. Explored Orinoco & established its connection with Amazon. Explored virgin lands of Siberia. In his ‘Relation Historique’ he laid down the foundation of plant geography. Divided regions of Latin America into botanical provinces. His “Kosmos” talked about universe & geographical thought since Egyptians. Believed in empirical, comparative & inductive method.

6. Carl Ritter (1779-1859 AD) - Was a teleologist. Gave the concept of “Unity in Diversity”. Stressed on land & water hemispheres, distinction between the rates of cooling of land & water. Defined geography as empirical science rather than deductive. Was a professor at university of Frankfurt & Berlin & founded the “Berlin Geographical Society”. He rejected the idea of ‘Pure Geography’(Reine
Geography) & said that history & geography must always remain inseparable. Chiefly concerned with the studies of human geography. Identified each continent with a different race. He was an armchair geographer. Wrote “Erdkunde” meaning science of the earth. Asia & Africa covered but
not Europe.

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