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  A philosophy developed by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). The Kantian tradition has been incorporated within contemporary human geography in three main (increasingly interconnected) ways.

Kant\'s conception of the nature of geography and of its location within the sciences as a whole has provided the basis for a series of major disagreements (see May, 1970). Kant considered that knowledge could be classified in two ways: either logically or physically. \'The logical classification collects all individual items in separate classes according to similarities of morphological features; it could be called something like an “archive” and will lead, if pursued, to a “natural system”\' (Büttner and Hoheisel, 1980). In a \'natural system\', Kant noted, \'I place each thing in its class, even though they are to be found in different, widely separated places\' (cited in Hartshorne, 1939). The physical classification, in contrast, collects individual items which \'belong to the same time or the same space\'. In this connection, Kant asserted:

History differs from geography only in the consideration of time and [space]. The former is a report of phenomena that follow one another (Nacheinander) and has reference to time. The latter is a report of phenomena beside each other (Nebeneinander) in space. History is a narrative, geography a description.

Geography and history fill up the entire circumference of our perceptions: geography that of space, history that of time (cited in Hartshorne, 1939).

Although Kant\'s views on geography were broadly similar to those of von Humboldt and Hettner, they appear to have had \'no direct influence\' other than \'as a form of confirmation\' (Hartshorne, 1958; but cf. Büttner and Hoheisel, 1980). Indeed, they were not explicitly endorsed in any major programmatic statement of the scope of geography (in English) until Hartshorne\'s account of The nature of geography (1939), which accepted that geography\'s basic task was essentially Kantian:

Geography and history are alike in that they are integrating sciences concerned with studying the world. There is, therefore, a universal and mutual relation between them, even though their bases of integration are in a sense opposite — geography in terms of earth spaces, history in terms of periods of time.Others were more sceptical. Blaut (1961) concluded that, for Kant:

Knowledge about the spatial location of objects is quite distinct from knowledge about their true nature and the natural laws governing them. The latter sorts of knowledge are eternal and universal, are truly scientific … [whereas] spatial and temporal co-ordinates are separate and rather secondary attributes of objects, and spatial and temporal arrangement of objects is not a matter for science.Like Schaefer (1953), therefore, Blaut represented Kant as the originator of an exceptionalism which was inimical to the \'explanations\' and \'generalizations\' (rather than mere \'descriptions\') required if geography were to be reconstituted as a spatial science. Subsequently, however, Kant\'s basic distinction was revitalized by Hägerstrand. Although time-geography is evidently predicated on a repudiation of divisions between \'history\' and \'geography\', \'time\' and \'space\', the contrast which Hägerstrand drew between a conventional compositional approach and his own contextual approach paralleled that between \'logical\' and \'physical\' classifications (cf. Parkes and Taylor, 1975).

Most of the foregoing formulations depend on Kant\'s early lectures on (physical) geography, but other commentators have drawn attention to Kant\'s Critique of pure reason (1781) and its emphasis on \'the structuring activity of the thinking subject\':

Space is not something objective and real, nor is it a substance or an accident, or a relation, but it is subjective and ideal and proceeds from the nature of mind by an unchanging law, as a schema for coordinating with each other absolutely all things externally sensed (Kant, cited in Richards, 1974; emphasis added).This stress upon \'the epistemic structuring of the world by the human actor [is] the essence of the Kantian heritage\', so it is claimed, and \'constitutes the common theme which has, in practice, been distilled from the variety of humanistic philosophies to which geographers of a subjectivist orientation have turned in their endeavour to transcend the dichotomy inherent in subject-object relations\' (Livingstone and Harrison, 1981 — see behavioural geography; humanistic geography).

Many of these endeavours might more properly be described as \'neo-Kantian\'. Neo-Kantianism emerged in Germany in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. Whereas Kant had held the a priori to be \'externally fixed and eternally immutable\' — the \'unchanging law\' in Richards\'s quotation above — the neo-Kantians rejected the vision of a unitary scientific method which this allowed. They substituted a distinction between:

{img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } the cultural and historical sciences (the Geisteswissenschaften), which dealt with an intelligible world of \'non-sensuous objects of experience\' which had to be understood (verstehen), and which were thus concerned with the idiographic — this was the focus of the \'Baden school\', which included Windelband and Rickert; and {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } the natural sciences (the Naturwissenschaften), which dealt with the \'sensible world of science\' which could be explained (erklaren), and which were thus concerned with the nomothetic — this was the focus of the \'Marburg school\', which included Cassirer.Within human geography, neo-Kantianism has been attributed to (inter alia) the possibilism of the French school of human geography (Berdoulay, 1976), to the programme of the Chicago school of sociology (Park completed a doctoral dissertation under Windelband: see Entrikin, 1980), and to modern humanistic geography more generally (see Jackson and Smith, 1984). In a still more fundamental sense, Entrikin (1981) has proposed that Hartshorne\'s views of the nature of geography (above) incorporated a number of patently neo-Kantian arguments, and that Cassirer\'s writings might provide a means of reinvigorating (and even bringing together) geography\'s heterogeneous perspectives upon space (see Entrikin, 1977).

Until recently, most geographers limited their interest in Kant to his lectures on physical geography and his first critique, largely — one suspects — because of their interest in (or objections to) the scientificity of geographies underwritten by positivism (e.g. spatial science). But several writers have since reflected on Kant\'s second and third critiques. There has been a widespread (if often tacit) acceptance of an essentially Kantian distinction between three forms of knowledge or \'reason\'. Following Habermas, for example, many writers associate the Enlightenment project inscribed within the project of modernity with the formation of three autonomous spheres:

|||The task of Habermas\'s version of critical theory is, in part, to bring these three spheres back into balance with one another: to guard against the inflation of \'science\' (and the detachment of its \'expert culture\' from public scrutiny) which, so he claims, was characteristic of capitalism in the early and middle twentieth century; and, more recently, against the inflation of the aesthetic that he sees within late-twentieth-century postmodernism (Ingram, 1987). Certainly, Kantian aesthetics have played an extremely important part in discussions of postmodern sensibilities, and particular attention has been paid to the \'aestheticization of politics\' which can be found in versions of both modernism and postmodernism (Harvey, 1989; Eagleton, 1990). (DG)

References Berdoulay, V. 1976: French possibilism as a form of neo-Kantian philosophy. Proceedings of the Association of American Geographers 8: 176-9. Blaut, J. 1961: Space and process. Professional Geographer 13: 1-7. Büttner, M. and Hoheisel, K. 1980: Immanuel Kant. Geographers: Bio-bibliographical Studies 4: 55-67. Eagleton, T. 1990: The ideology of the aesthetic. Oxford: Blackwell. Entrikin, J.N. 1977: Geography\'s spatial perspective and the philosophy of Ernst Cassirer. Canadian Geographer 21: 209-22. Entrikin, J.N. 1980: Robert Park\'s human ecology and human geography. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70: 43-58. Entrikin, J.N. 1981: Philosophical issues in the scientific study of regions. In D.T. Herbert and R.J. Johnston, eds, Geography and the urban environment. Progress in research and applications, volume 4. Chichester: John Wiley, 1-27. Hartshorne, R. 1939: The nature of geography: a critical survey of current thought in the light of the past. Lancaster, PA: Association of American Geographers. Hartshorne, R. 1958: The concept of geography as a science of space, from Kant and Humboldt to Hettner. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 48: 97-108. Harvey, D. 1989: The condition of postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of cultural change. Oxford: Blackwell; Ingram, D. 1987: Habermas and the dialectic of reason. New Haven: Yale University Press. Jackson, P. and Smith, S.J. 1984: Exploring social geography. London: Allen and Unwin; Livingstone, D.N. and Harrison, D.T. 1981: Immanuel Kant, subjectivism and human geography: a preliminary investigation. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers NS 6: 359-74. May, J.A. 1970: Kant\'s conception of geography and its relation to recent geographical thought. Toronto: University of Toronto, Department of Geography, Research Publication 4. Parkes, D. and Taylor, P.J. 1975: A Kantian view of the city: a factorial ecology experiment in space and time. Environment and Planning A 7: 671-88. Richards, P. 1974: Kant\'s geography and mental maps. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers 61: 1-16. Schaefer, F.K. 1953: Exceptionalism in geography: a methodological examination. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 43: 226-49.

Suggested Reading Büttner and Hoheisel (1980). Entrikin (1981). Livingstone and Harrison (1981). May (1970).
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