Nature of geography as perceived in systems theory : 2 vols.


Nature of geography as perceived in systems theory : 2 vols.
Vol .1 ; Systems Theory and Geography.
Vol. 2; Possible World of Geographer in Systems Theory.
Daya Publishing House, New Delhi (1994 ).Rs. 750/-


"Geography is not what we have presumed it, we have conceived it and we have perceived it ,but it is that we have not imagined it. It is around us. It is a system in itself."

With this assumption that human behavior becomes rational when it acts individually, but it becomes rational ,when it operates upon in a collective form. Therefore, it is very difficult to understand man and his behavior in given situation. So it is incredible to argue about the discipline, its past history and the methodological contents. It is a misconceived notion of set boundaries and a goal of its own, in the multidimensional facets of the changing world complexes in which we are living.

Geography in its manifestations begins with the land- scape evolution (physical geography), interacts with phenomena culminating in the human relationships, (cultural relationships) of conceptual world of real abstract, interactions and processes , conditions and relations of multivariate facets of elements. Geographers are thus drawn with illusion of perplex the mind of geographical images. This perception has drawn geography and geographer both into a state of unending dilemma of academic jargon of puzzles ie; whether it is founded on systems theory or a simply on irrelevant distraction ?.

Science provides us very sharp tools. But it is the craft man who will tell you the right use or misuse of the sharp tools. It is observed that geographers are badly operationalised with their blunted tools.

The present attempt is thus , to discuss all these problems arises due to multidimensional approaches of the past , present and future methodologies .

General System and General Systems Theory as both these connotations have different meanings. How Geography as a discipline is fitted well in the analogy of systems theory has been the main thrust in both these volumes. Let us explore the possibilities.-What Geography is? What is state of Geography in systems Theory.

Book Review

Nature of Geography as perceived in systems Theory: Appeared in ANNALS of National Association of Geographers , India, ( NAGI ), New Delhi.
By Prof. R P Mishra , Dept. of Geography Delhi University Delhi.
Annals- vol. xv ,no. 1, June 1995, pp. 98-99.

Here is a book which one must read carefully for its methodological contributions to geography. Practically no work has been done in geography in general systems theory and its relevance to geography .B L Sharma deserves congratulations for writing these volumes to fill this gap in geographic literature.

The first volume, Systems Theory and geography, has two parts :General Systems and Systems Theory (10 chapters) and Development and Nature of geography (8 chapters ). Part one reviews the developments in Systems Theory, While part two critically examines the developments in geographic thought. The author has ………..the specific features of systems theory…

After discussing the general systems theory as meta theory the author returned to the basics of what a system is and how the systems approach developed. Applications of the systems theory in modern sciences .......geography in India.

Volume two contains 12 chapters , three of which ( chapters 3 11 and 12 ), center on geography and systems theory. There are chapters on American school and geographers of the time a real world of geographers,environment as perceived in geography,welfare geography, diffusion process in geographic research etc..

After going through these volumes one is left the with impression that at least half of the material included in these volumes should have not been there……The above negative points, however , do not in any way down rate the importance of the book , and I do hope that students of geography will read with a lot of interest.

Contents: Vol 1- Systems Theory and Geography

Part 1- General Systems & Systems Theory:

Chapters: 1-General Systems Theory,2- General Systems Specific features, 3- General Systems Theory as a metatheory,4- Outline History of GST, 5- The Systems Approach and its Development, 6-Classification of Systems into open and closed- Logic of methodological problems,7- Systems Theory and modern Sciences, 8- The Systems approach in Social Sciences, 9- Paradox of Systems analysis,10- Prospects of the Systems Approach.

Part II- Development of Nature of Geography:

Chapters 11- Progress in Geography Through Ages,12-German Contribution to Geography 13- Geographers of the second and third Generation 14- Leaders of the Fourth Generation 16- French Geographers` Contribution to Geography 17- Geography in Indian Context,18- Theories ,Laws and Models; A Systematic Explanation in Geography.

Contents: Vol 2- Possible World of Geographer in Systems Theory

Chapters: 1- Nature of Geography 2- Problem of Paradigm Shift; Conceptual Themes 3- Geography and General Systems Theory 4- American School and Geographers of the time 5- The Modern Perceptivism 6- A Real World ( Physical Geography ) of Geographer 7- Geographic Space Perception 8- Environment as Perceived in Geography 9- Diffusion Process In Geographic Research and Normative values 10- Welfare Geography of Economics 11- In search of Systematic Geography 12- Geography in Systems Theory. Bibliography.

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