Phenomenology, science, and geography : spatiality and the human sciences


Phenomenology, science, and geography : spatiality and the human sciences

John Pickles

(Cambridge human geography)

Cambridge University Press, 1985

  • : pbk

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Bibliography: p. [185]-195

Includes index



A work of outstanding originality and importance, which will become a cornerstone in the philosophy of geography, this book asks: What is human science? Is a truly human science of geography possible? What notions of spatiality adequately describe human spatial experience and behaviour? It sets out to answer these questions through a discussion of the nature of science in the human sciences, and, specifically, of the role of phenomenology in such inquiry. It criticises established understanding of phenomenology in these sciences, and demonstrates how they are integrally related to each other. The need for a reflective geography to accompany all empirical science is argued strongly. The discussion is organised into four parts: geography and traditional metaphysics; geography and phenomenology; phenomenology and the question of human science; and human science, worldhood and place. The author draws upon the works, of Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer and Kockelmans in particular.


  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction
  • Part I. Geography and Traditional Metaphysics: 2. Geographical discourse and its central themes
  • Part II. Geography and Phenomenology: 3. The interpretation of phenomenology in geography
  • 4. Geographical phenomenology: a critique of its foundations
  • Part III. Phenomenology and the Question of Human Science: 5. Husserlian phenomenology: the foundational project
  • 6. Phenomenology, science and phenomenological geography
  • 7. Towards a fundamental ontology of science
  • Part IV. Human Science, Worldhood and Spatiality: 8. Implications for the human sciences and a human science of geography
  • 9. Towards an understanding of human spatiality.

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