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Exceptionalism and Schaefer views in Geography

What is exceptionalism in geography?

As many geographers namely Immanuel Kant and Carl Ritter believed that geography is a unique subject, it is not like other subjects such as physics. In physics, we can make one model that can be applied everywhere ( not in the whole universe) but in geography, there is no such model that can be applied in every region. Examples:

  • The model for city development is not fitted for hill area development and vice versa
  • Singapore's model of education is not fitted in the Indian education model
  • Chinese child policy is not suitable for Europe.
  • Chinese development model can not be replicated in India

 Hence it is a unique subject, this uniqueness is called exceptionalism in geography. 

Schaefer views

Schaefer published " Exceptionalism in geography: A Methodological Examination ".
In his article:
  • He rejected the exceptionalism view in geography
  • He rejected the uniqueness of geography 
  • As in physics also, the model is not absolute, the same model can not be true in space, underground, water, etc
  • In the same logic, geography is like physics 
  • If all the parameters of the phenomenon are analyzed, then a good model can be developed the same as physics, for example, now we are able to predict rainfall timing and intensity of rainfall after collecting all the relative parameters such as moisture in air, wind, pressure, etc.
  • Christaller's model, Von Thunen, and Weber's industrial location model are proof that geography can have a model that can be applied everywhere.
  • He supported Positivism and system analysis in geography.
  • He supported the use of mathematics and statistic in the geographical model

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