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A hierarchical framework for concepts in physical geography

A hierarchical framework for concepts in physical geography
A hierarchical framework for concepts in physical geography

The word concept is widely used in physical geography but seldom defined. Developing from an earlier proposal of concept types in geomorphology, this paper considers a structure for categorising concepts in physical geography in the light of sciences and philosophy more generally. It reviews where our concepts derive from, and their relation to kinds, universals and categories, whilst also indicating the lack of an agreed clear distinction between them. Because an unstructured diversity of concepts has previously been proposed in physical geography by different authors, a new provisional hierarchy is constructed. This is cognisant of specific developments in a range of disciplines, including formal concept analysis, lattice theory and hierarchy theory. A ‘concept of concepts’ hierarchy of six categories is proposed in which multidisciplinary (superordinate, contextual meta-concepts) and fundamental, operational and ancillary categories provide a 6 × 5 framework. This enables attention to be focused on stimulating conceptual underpinnings that can be tested at different levels in future learning, teaching and research. This can support the formation of knowledge structures and monitoring procedures that keep in step with ways that are characterising other disciplines.

categories, Concepts, kinds, physical geography trends, structure of learning, universals
0309-1333
721-738
Gregory, K. J.
ba801a74-48cd-4d3e-8e3c-547f53c3d60c
Lewin, J.
949bc10c-edfb-4d99-b848-5eccb686d54a
Gregory, K. J.
ba801a74-48cd-4d3e-8e3c-547f53c3d60c
Lewin, J.
949bc10c-edfb-4d99-b848-5eccb686d54a

Gregory, K. J. and Lewin, J. (2018) A hierarchical framework for concepts in physical geography. Progress in Physical Geography, 42 (6), 721-738. (doi:10.1177/0309133318794502).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The word concept is widely used in physical geography but seldom defined. Developing from an earlier proposal of concept types in geomorphology, this paper considers a structure for categorising concepts in physical geography in the light of sciences and philosophy more generally. It reviews where our concepts derive from, and their relation to kinds, universals and categories, whilst also indicating the lack of an agreed clear distinction between them. Because an unstructured diversity of concepts has previously been proposed in physical geography by different authors, a new provisional hierarchy is constructed. This is cognisant of specific developments in a range of disciplines, including formal concept analysis, lattice theory and hierarchy theory. A ‘concept of concepts’ hierarchy of six categories is proposed in which multidisciplinary (superordinate, contextual meta-concepts) and fundamental, operational and ancillary categories provide a 6 × 5 framework. This enables attention to be focused on stimulating conceptual underpinnings that can be tested at different levels in future learning, teaching and research. This can support the formation of knowledge structures and monitoring procedures that keep in step with ways that are characterising other disciplines.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 3 September 2018
Published date: 1 December 2018
Keywords: categories, Concepts, kinds, physical geography trends, structure of learning, universals

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427276
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427276
ISSN: 0309-1333
PURE UUID: 65fef102-5eea-4f04-afe2-3902cff08eab

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Date deposited: 10 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 19:49

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Contributors

Author: K. J. Gregory
Author: J. Lewin

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