Idiographic Vs Nomothetic Geography Dualism
 Idiographic V/S Nomothetic Geography
Nomothetic and idiographic are terms used by Neo-Kantian philosopher Wilhelm Windelband to describe two distinct approaches to knowledge, each one corresponding to a different intellectual tendency, and each one corresponding to a different branch of academia.
It describes the effort to understand the meaning of contingent, unique, and often cultural or subjective phenomena. It is a qualitative approach. It is based on tendency to specify. It is typical for the humanities.
Kant, Hettner and Hartshorne considered geography as an idiographic science. Hartshorne asserted that geography deals with the spatial differentiations of phenomena. He conceives geography as the study of peculiar phenomena of regions. For Kant, geography is description; for Hartshorne, it is a ‘naive science’.
Supporter: Kant, Hettner and Hartshorne- belong to school of Idiographic Geography.
It describes the effort to derive laws that explain types or categories of objective phenomena in general. It is a quantitative approach. It is based on tendency to generalize and is typical for natural sciences.
Systematic or general geography comes under this category. Humboldt, Sauer and many of their followers laid stress on systematic geography and the formulation of general laws.
Despite many revolutions in geography, formulation of nomothetic laws is not a success. Only after second World War, diffusion models, location theory and gravity models were designed to explain geographical patterns.
The new nomothetic (general) laws will be formulated in future which will bring greater recognition to geography.
Supporter: Max weber Humboldt & Sauer – belong to school of Nomothetic Geography.
Some scholars consider geography as an idiographic science while others consider it as a nomothetic science.
James, while discussing idiographic and nomothetic approaches, declared the non-existence of a thing such as ‘real-region’. According to him region exists only as an intellectual concept which is useful for a particular purpose.
N.B- Notes will be updated time to time
PDF Name: Idiographic Vs Nomothetic Geography Dualism Notes by Netset Corner
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