First, my understanding of environmental determinism is the idea that physical environment, climate and geography shape human thought. Environmental possibilism and determinism are theories, put forth in and the observed effect of such interactions is called human geography. ADVERTISEMENTS: Dichotomy between Determinism and Possibilism of Geography! In the history of geographical concepts, there have been.

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In agricultural areas, it is clear that slope had one meaning for the man with a hoe and quite another for a man with a tractor-drawn plough. For the possibilists, the works of man, not the earth and its influence, are the starting points, the most important is the freedom of man to choose.

Equally important is his indication of the need to consider the psycho-physiological influence of the geographical environment via gelgraphy social structure. Barrows—the prominent ecologist—gave greater importance to man than to environment. Elseworth Huntington—the American geographer—who wrote the monumental book, The Principles of Human Geography inwas a protagonist of environmental determinism.

In small societies the organization was not rigid enough at the beginning to stifle initiative.

He everywhere contributes his share towards investing the physiognomy of the earth with those changing expressions which is the special charge of geography to study. The prohibitive cost of production of these crops will compel man not to grow these crops in the tundra region.

Widest River in the World. Aristotle, for example, explained the differences between Northern Europeans and Asians in terms of climatic causes. They also did not take into account the essential factor of human ingenuity and advancement in technology.


Possibilism – Geography

The natural environment posed as a limiting factor for the development and progress of people inhabiting the particular area environmental determinism. Finer categories are man-made. Eskimos differ markedly from the Tundra tribes of Siberia. The point of view is that the physical environment controls the course of human action.

Possibilism (geography) – Wikipedia

This difference is the direct result of their fundamentally different diets. There are prohibitions, restrictions, taboos on sides. Traditionally, it used to be thought that these Shetland ponies constituted a separate race of horses, stabilized by inbreeding—until some businessmen decided to supply the American market by raising these ponies in U. Two societies that inhabit areas having similar climates and landforms may be very dissimilar.

Ppssibilism after hundreds of generations when the ponies were taken to areas with richer soil they regained the characteristics of their ancestors. The other two controversies are 1 the “debate between neopositivists and neokantians about the “exceptionalism” or the specificity of geography as a science [and 2 ] the contention between Mackinder and Kropotkin about what is—or should be—geography”.

Since human interest, desires, prejudices and group values vary across space, there is a consequent variation in the cultural landscape and levels of socio-economic development. The founder of this latter notion human ecology was H. He took the most decisive step since the time of Hippocrates towards something new and conclusive in environmental causation thinking. Views Read Edit View history. Geovraphy of one kind of culture might concentrate in the valleys Mesais and Kikuyus of East Africa whereas another kind of people in the same area egography concentrate their settlements on fertile uplands.


Aristotle emphatically attributed the progress of certain nations to their favourable environmental conditions. The deterinism environment knows nothing of them. The theological school of thought advocated the idea of a designed earth: In brief, at the very largest scale we can be determinists, where as at the more local scales we can see the virtue of possibilism or cultural and social determinism.

They have strong religious feelings and an intense love for family. Many geographers of his school declared that their main task was to identify the influence exerted by geographical conditions on material culture and the political destinies of the inhabitants of a given region, both in the past and present.

Social groups can be distinguished with reference to ethnic, religious, professional and certain other features, while social changes are only noted but rarely linked with any fundamental economic causes or the class structure of society.

Possibilism (geography)

Aristotle thought that the people inhabiting the warm climates of Asia were intelligent but lacking in spirit and therefore subject to slavery. It, however, does not enable us to achieve a profound understanding of social relations or landscape.

This variation in the evaluation of resources is one of the main causes of differences in the lifestyle and stage of development of various ethnid groups and nations.