Philosophy of Determinism is based upon the interaction between primitive human society and strong forces of nature. This is an older philosophy which persisted till World War II. It says that the strong forces of environment control the course of human action. This implies that the history, culture, mode of life, and the level of development of the societal groups and countries are exclusively or largely controlled by the physical environment. This philosophy says that aspects of physical geography, particularly climate, influenced the psychological mind-set of individuals, which in turn defined the behaviour and culture of the society that those individuals formed. For example, tropical climates were said to cause laziness, relaxed attitudes and promiscuity, while the frequent variability in the weather of the middle latitudes led to more determined and driven work ethics.
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Possibilism in cultural geography is the theory that the environment sets certain constraints or limitations, but culture is otherwise determined by social conditions. Theory by Strabo in 64 BC that humans can make things happen by their own intelligence over time.
Strabo cautioned against the assumption that nature and actions of humans were determined by the physical environment they inhabited. He observed that humans were the active elements in a human-environmental partnership and partnering. The controversy between geographical possibilism and determinism might be considered as one of at least three dominant epistemologic controversies of contemporary geography.
The other two controversies are 1 the "debate between neopositivists and neokantians about the "exceptionalism" or the specificity of geography as a science [and 2 ] the contention between Mackinder and Kropotkin about what is—or should be—geography". Possibilism in geography is, thus, considered as a distinct approach to geographical knowledge, directly opposed to geographical determinism.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Agricultural geography 3rd ed. Retrieved 5 May Encyclopedia of geography terms, themes, and concepts.
Determinism and Possibilism in Geography
Education September 15th, Geographical possibilism is a school of thought in cultural geography that says that although the natural environment places certain constraints and limitations on human life, culture is determined independently of nature by human social conditions. Geographical possibilism replaced a long legacy of geographical determinism in geographical thought, which held that the natural environment places an all-encompassing influence on human activity, such that all of human life is dependent on the natural environment, in the characterization of the Earth organism. Geographical Thought: Greeks and Romans.