Rationality and Beyond: Values and the Geographer's Dream for Tomorrow

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Title: Rationality and Beyond: Values and the Geographer's Dream for Tomorrow
Authors: Buttimer, Anne
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10724
Date: 1974
Online since: 2019-05-30T09:06:51Z
Abstract: “As scientists of individual and collective behavior we seek to so well understand men that we can predict their behavior, and to be so knowledgeable about every facet and level of human interaction as to foretell the consequences of changes introduced into any behavioral setting. As visionaries illumined by our private internal lights, we years for the society where self-conscious brotherhood replaces alienation, where the affirmation of life over death becomes a pervasive ethic, and where dignity replaces alienation or poverty as the stamp of the human condition.” --Kates (1969, p.47) Two countervailing themes emerge from recent futurological writing. On the one hand one hears a plea for more rationally-ordered monitoring systems to guide and police society’s future technology and life styles. On the other hand one hears the humanist’s plea for an environment conducive toward freedom and creativity for the individual in the future. At each pole, elaborate scenarios are sketched; convincing arguments are rallied on both sides; yet certain basic contrasts in their fundamental ideological and moral premises makes it difficult to evaluate and judge between these seeming conflicting visions for the future. This paper outlines three alternative perspectives on this dilemma. First, a look at their philosophical premises will try to highlight the tension between these contrasting perspectives on the future. Secondly, some observations on the scientist’s characteristic role within society will hopefully lead to some fundamental questions regarding elitism and the managerial spirit. Thirdly, an attempt will be made to cast society’s future projections in the form of a drama, using the metaphors of transactional analysis to sharpen our focus on the inequalities and inconsistencies of society’s current stance on planning for the future. Finally, some suggestions are made concerning potential reorientations of geographic effort in this field.
Item notes: Unpublished paper
Type of material: Other
Keywords: ExistentialismPositive scienceRole of geographerSociologyFuturology
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Geography Research Collection

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