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chaotic conception

  A term associated with realism as a philosophy of science for an arbitrary abstraction from a whole. Most scientific analyses focus on some components of a system only. If these have some unity and autonomous existence, their separation for study is a rational abstraction. If, however, the selection either divides one or more wholes or amalgamates unrelated parts of separate wholes, then it is a chaotic conception whose study has little value. Sayer (1992) argued that many geographical studies deal with chaotic conceptions, such as service industries, which cover a very wide range of dissimilar activities and about which few, if any, useful generalizations can be made. (RJJ)

Reference Sayer, A. 1992: Method in social science: a realist approach, 2nd edn. London: Routledge.



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Other Terms : non-representational theory | regime of accumulation | contiguous zone
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