Quotes About the Definition of Geography

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The purpose of the discipline of geography has been interpreted and reinterpreted over the years.  Below are some notable quotes defining the study of geography.


The geographer is the person who attempts to describe parts of the earth.  (Geography, AD 18 – 24).


Richard Hartshorne (December 12, 1899 – November 5, 1992),  a prominent American geographer, and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His areas of specialization were economic and political geography and the philosophy of geography and he was a proponent of geography as a chorological science.  

From The Nature of Geography:

The ultimate purpose of geography, the study of areal differentiation of the world, is most clearly expressed in regional geography; only by constantly maintaining its relation to regional geography can systematic geography hold to the purpose of geography and not disappear into other sciences.  On the other hand, regional geography in itself is sterile; without the continuous fertilization of generic concepts and principles from systematic geography, it could not advance to higher degrees of accuracy and certainty in interpretation or its findings. (Hartshorne 1939; 468)




Continental Drift Theory