3. Incongruent Counterparts. Four Possible Ways of Interaction between Geography and Philosophy

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Marcello Tanca


Geography and Philosophy, like the right hand and the left hand according to Kant, are a typical case of ‘incongruent counterparts’: similar to each other, they can never completely overlap; their asymmetry and complementarity make the attempts at trying to find some prolific joints between them interesting.

This contribution explores therefore four ways of interacting between these two ‘discursive fields’: Geography of Philosophy, Philosophy of Geography, Geography in Philosophy and Philosophy in Geography. These four categories, however, are not to be taken too rigidly: they suggest a possible classification, i.e. indicative frameworks which are useful to give an order to such a chaotic and complex subject. They do not mark the goal, but just one of the roads.

The analysis of these categories is preceded by a critical examination of the ‘wild’ Geography in the works of acclaimed authors such as Robert Kaplan, Tim Marshall and Parag Khanna (who ignore the geographical literature and the debate within the academic geography). The text concludes with an open question: will Geography be able to translate its own research experience in order to finally become a philosophy of territorial engagement?


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