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Dark WritingGeography, Performance, Design$
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Paul Carter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832469

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832469.001.0001

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Step-by-Step: Geography’s Myth

Step-by-Step: Geography’s Myth

Chapter:
(p.16) Chapter 1 Step-by-Step: Geography’s Myth
Source:
Dark Writing
Author(s):

Paul Carter

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832469.003.0002

This chapter suggests that modern geography's foundations are poetic, and it is geography's myth to suppose otherwise. The inductive sciences, of which geography is one, make use of spatial figures of speech in order to describe the nature of reality. But for geography—which, after all, is the science of describing physical space—these figures of speech are indispensable. The maps people inhabit represent mental geographies—ways of thinking and drawing that idealize the appearances of the world in the interest of saving the appearance of reason. However, the ironic result of this determination to reduce the world to an algebra of points and lines is that it opens up abysses both in thought and nature. Only the creative imagination can bridge these gaps in reason.

Keywords:   modern geography, reality, inductive sciences, physical space

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