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Causes and consequences of the rise of determinism and possibilism.


Examine the causes and consequences of the rise of determinism and possibilism. ( 65th BPSC geography)

Review the concepts of determinism and possibilism. ( 60-62nd BPSC geography)


Determinism and possibilism are two earlier approaches to human geography that explain the relationship between humans and the physical environment.

About determinism:

Determinism is also called environmental determinism. According to environmental determinism, the physical environment around humans controls human activities, human behaviors, and cultural and social development. The environment alone plays a role in human personal decisions.

About Possibilism:

According to the idea of ​​possibilism, the environment provides opportunities and possibilities to man everywhere. The environment does not control human behavior but provides opportunities. Humans can change the environment through innovation and technological progress.

Causes for the rise of determinism:

Technology and knowledge play an important role in the interaction between humans and the physical environment. Technology indicates the level of cultural development of a society. Humans are able to develop technology after developing a better understanding of natural laws.

Environmental determinism developed in the late 19th century, and there was less developed knowledge of natural laws. Societies at that time were primitive with low levels of technological development. The man listened to nature, feared its wrath, and worshiped it to gain from it.

The relationship between primitive society and the strong forces of the physical environment led to the development of environmental determinism.

So low-level technological development and less knowledge about natural law lead to the rising of environmental determinism.

Consequences of the rise of environmental determinism:

Environmental determinism made man natural, due to which man was afraid to go against nature.

Human beings were directly dependent on nature for the resources which kept them natural. In such societies, the physical environment acts as "Mother Nature".

Some scholars have attributed racial determinism to environmental determinism.

For example,

According to al-Masoodi, homosexual and humorous people are found in the water-rich regions of Syria.

According to Huntington, a 20-degree temperature is an ideal climatic condition for high mental and physical productivity.

Causes for the rise of possibilism:

With the passage of time, people develop a good understanding of the environment and natural law which leads to efficient technological development. The development of efficient technology creates possibilities from the resources obtained from the environment.

Following the technological and cultural progress of humans, humans have created cultural landscapes everywhere such as health resorts on the highlands, vast urban sprawl, etc.

Advanced technological development and developed knowledge about the physical environment cause the rise of Possibilism.

The critical idea of ​​determinism led to the development of possibilism. Some geographers such as Vidal la Blache criticized environmental determinism and said that the lifestyle of people is determined not only by the physical environment but also by the culture. The physical environment not only controls human decisions but also provides many opportunities.

The concept of possibilism emerged as a reaction to environmental determinism. In environmental determinism, man is treated as a passive element. But the concept of possibilism believed that humans are always active agents in the environment.

For example, Israel lacks basic natural resources such as water and fertile land. He innovated drip irrigation systems and vertical farming to overcome the shortage of food in the country. Israel's agricultural techniques for farming today are world-class, they are at the fore in agricultural productivity and they are now exporting many agricultural products to the world.

Consequences of Development of Possibilism:

Possibilism has humanized nature. Nature provides many opportunities and man utilizes them and gradually humanizes nature.

Technology has made people overcome natural problems, due to the development of transportation technology people living in desert areas also enjoy the taste of apples and oranges.

Possibilism has made the physical environment subordinate to humans in many areas.

Possibilism has laid great emphasis on the role of culture and civilization. The role of the environment is neglected, and this can lead to environmental problems. For example,

We are facing the problems of climate change due to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Due to human activities (such as construction, mining, and dam construction) in mountainous areas, the problem of landslides, earthquakes, etc. has arisen.

Parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana are facing dengue outbreaks due to water logging around the canal.

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8 August 2023 at 20:27 ×

thanks for this explanation straight to the point

Congrats bro atharva milkhe you got PERTAMAX...! hehehehe...