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Neo Determinism( Stop and Go Determinism) UPSC Geography |Geography optional notes

Neo Determinism( Stop and Go Determinism)

  • The concept of Neo-determinism in geography is one of three major approaches in geography (the others being determinism and possibilism) that explain human and environmental relationships.
  • As, neither environmental determinism nor possibilism has been able to explain the relationship between humans and the environment correctly, hence the concept of neo-determinism emerged in geography. 
  • Neo-determinism is also called "Stop and go determinism" because it believes that if human activities (pollution) cause long-term damage to the environment then such activities should be stopped otherwise humans can do everything that the environment allows us to do.
An Australian geographer, Griffith Taylor, was the first to propound the concept of neo-determinism.

Griffith Taylor's views on Neo-determinism:
Not all human activity is completely controlled by the environment as environmental determinism believes, nor is all human activity completely free from the laws of the environment as possibilism believes.
    This is the [middle way] concept between determinism and the possibilism concept.
      Human beings can change the environment through various innovations and activities or can do all those things which are not naturally possible in the environment. For example:
      • Today, by providing the facility of human irrigation and fertilizer, man is cultivating in barren land and even in summer.
      • Nowadays due to innovation, farming has become possible without the use of soil.
      But there is a limit to changing the environment by humans or humans cannot go against everything in the environment. The activities of man should be according to the laws of the environment, otherwise, the environment also forces man to stop and adjust his activities. Examples are:
      • Climate change: The wrong activities [polluting] of human beings are harming the environment. But polluting the environment has a limit. Through climate change, nature is forcing humans to correct their actions towards the environment.
        • In Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, agricultural productivity has decreased in these areas due to wrong farming practices. A decrease in productivity is also an environmental indicator.
          • Jakarta [the capital of Indonesia] is now submerging in the sea due to the over-exploitation of groundwater.
            • The water crisis in many cities of the world is due to excessive exploitation of groundwater and non-conservation of water, the water crisis in Chennai is the latest example of this.
              • The recent Kerala floods are the result of the over-exploitation of the Western Ghats.
              The environment acts as a controller of traffic. It stops and informs us when we do wrong. Man can speed up, slow down or stop the development program of the country, following the environmental rules, but he cannot go against the plan of the environment.
              • What will be the path of development of any country, largely decides the physical environment there.
              • In the long run, a nature plan is the best plan; And the best way is to follow natural law in the development program.
              • Nature is not an absolute dictator, nature is neutral, prudent people follow nature's plan and move forward.
                You may like also:
                •  Write short explanatory notes on the following: (UPSC 2010, 10 marks) 
                  •   Neo-determinism
                •    Discuss the relevance of “stop and go determinism “  in the present-day context. (UPSC 2016, 15 marks)
                • What are the criticisms of Neo Determinism?
                • Write Short notes on Neo Determinism.

                Answer the following multiple-choice questions on Neo Determinism:

                1. Neo Determinism is also known as?
                a) Go and Forward Determinism
                b) Stop and look at Determinism
                c) Stop and Go Determinism
                d) Environmental Determinism

                Answer. c) Stop and Go Determinism

                2. Which of the following geographical perspective reflects a middle path between two ideas of environmental determinism and possibilism?
                a) Environmental determinism
                b) Stop and Go Determinism
                c) Quantitative revolution
                d) Feminism in geography

                Answer. b) Stop and Go Determinism

                3. Who introduced Neo Determinism in geography?
                a) Carl Ritter
                b) Richard Hartshorne
                c) Griffith Taylor
                d) J L Berry

                Answer. c) Griffith Taylor

                4. Which of the following geographical thought believed that the environment acts as a controller of traffic and nature is not completely dictator?
                a) Environmental Determinism
                b) Neo Determinism
                c) Possibilism
                d) Quantitative revolution

                Answer. b) Neo Determinism

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                6 January 2023 at 12:01 ×

                Your content is very helpful. Thank you sir.

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