The enlightenment of geographical theories construction from the First Law of Geography and its debate
Sun Jun1,2, Pan Yu-jun1, He Rui-fang1, Liu Hai-qin1, Chang-Nanjing3, Liu Shu-fen1,4, Li Hui-xian1
1. College of Tourism and Geographical Sciences, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China;
2. College of Social Development, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China;
3. College of Education and Management, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China;
4. Baoshan College, Baoshan 678000, Yunnan, China
Abstract：Debates about geographical theories reflected the different backgrounds in geographical practice, and they explained, demonstrated, and contributed to the development of geographical theories.The debate about Tobler's First Law of Geography(TFL hereafter) is a typical case.According to Waldo Tobler, everything is related to something else, but close things are more related to each other than distant things.However, along with the development of GIS and GISscience since the 1960s, whether TFL was still right, especially as the First Law of Geography, was one main subject under discussion in the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in 2003.In this meeting, some geographers demonstrated the rationality of TFL in homogeneity space, strengthened the time dimension, and the transformation of dimensions of space and scale in time and space. Some geographers also demonstrated the rationality of TFL in heterogeneity space.At the same time, there were other debates such as criticism on exceptionalism, quantitative revolution and theoretical revolution, which emerged in the background of the development of GIS and GISscience.On the other hand, these debates were useful to construct geographical theories from new perspectives that showed concern on dimension, scale and time geography. What's more, there emerged a new scientific view about geographical theories construction, i.e.the view of sociology of science, which is different from the conventional philosophy of science.With these two interweaving perspectives, the views about the construction of geographical theories became more complex.This paper is not only a comment or an introduction to TFL, but the dialogues between those who follow closely to this question, including scholars and authors, which are also emphasized in order to make the debate go further.The purpose of this paper is to reveal the TFL debate and the relationship among this debate and the previous debates on geographical theories, with the current focus on the reconstruction of geographical theories.On the basis of the above, with“proximity” as the core, this paper constructs the relationship among dimension, scale and scale transformation, time geography, namely the relationship system of“dimension- scale-areas”.
孙俊, 潘玉君, 和瑞芳, 刘海琴, 常楠静, 刘树芬, 李会仙. 地理学第一定律之争及其对地理学理论建设的启示[J]. 地理研究, 2012, 31(10): 1749-1763.
Sun Jun, Pan Yu-jun, He Rui-fang, Liu Hai-qin, Chang-Nanjing, Liu Shu-fen, Li Hui-xian. The enlightenment of geographical theories construction from the First Law of Geography and its debate. GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH, 2012, 31(10): 1749-1763.