Difference Between Humanistic Geography and Positivistic Approach

1000 words 4 pages
Difference Between Humanistic Geography and Positivistic Approach
There are definite differences between positivism and humanistic methods that geographers use. Positivism, which has it’s roots in quantitative theories, excludes the human element and includes such fundamentals as cumulative data. Humanistic geography has it’s roots in qualitative procedures and focuses on the combination of research with the people.
Positivism is a rigorous and formal way to collect and analyze data that was developed around the 1960’s by Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who is also credited with formalizing it. Studies are clear and straight forward and researchers believe that there is only one method that all sciences should rely on. Positivism believes
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What struck me a very interesting is that in “researching” my answer I engaged in discussions in a humanistic and subjective way! I believe that there are very few things in our world that can always be looked at completely objectively. We are humans, each with a unique brain and way of thinking. Using math is almost always objective as there is usually only one answer. One plus one always equals two. However, when there is a shift in what one is counting that answer can change. For example, a person is sent out into a field to count trees and there are ten trees; the answer one might be looking for is “ten”. However, one person may look at the trees differently. There may different types of trees, trees that look like bushes, new saplings that are just starting to grow and many other variables to consider. In this case as individuals go out to count the trees, they may come up with several different answers based on who they are and what their experiences have been. I believe it would be extremely difficult to research human geography without taking into consideration the relationship between humans and their environment and how they perceive that environment.
I believe that it is possible to research human geography issues without being affected by our personal beliefs. Having said that I think it is extremely unlikely, and not plausible, however, it is possible. I think that we as humans