Practising philosophies of geography

Practising philosophies of geography

HPGRG committee

Building on previously successful conference sessions sponsored by the HPGRG in 2001 concerning ‘putting philosophies of geography into practice’ (published as a theme issue of Area –vol. 34, no. 2 [2002]), the focus of this session is to update and advance debates concerning what it means to practice philosophies of and with geography.

We invite contributions that engage with the status of philosophy and theory within geographical practices: Are there philosophical positions particular to geography? Or, has geography lost a particularity to its conceptual apparatus? If there is/were particular philosophies of geography, how are/were they practiced and by whom? What implications have disagreements about what counts as (appropriate) geographical theory had for the disciplinary community? What does the contemporary use and production of philosophies of geography look and feel like? What should we consider as canonical examples of the practices of philosophies of geography?

We believe that the wider context of research practices and their assessment in higher education across the UK, the rest of Europe and North America, and its implications for Geography in particular, make this an important contemporary topic for discussion about how geographical research is performed. This session will perhaps begin to address whether a failure to agree on and sustain a collective sense of both key geographical thinkers and what therefore ‘counts’ as appropriate uses of theory has been a strength or weakness in the production of geographic knowledge. These are both critical and controversial issues, and we think there is an urgent need for them to be debated by as a wide a community as possible. We therefore invite submissions of outlines of contributions relevant to this session.

Suggested topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Disciplining theory
  • Methods of theory/ theories of method
  • Geographical theory across boundaries
  • Philosophies in the field
  • Models, trends and theory
  • Geographical philosophers
  • Practical philosophical concerns
  • Case studies of philosophies of geography in practice

The deadline for submissions is the 13th of February 2015.

Please contact Sam Kinsley [ s[dot]kinsley[at]exeter[dot]ac[dot]uk ], on behalf of the HPGRG committee, with prospective session contributions or questions relating to the session.

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The website for the Royal Geographical Society's History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group

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