A Review of the Evolution of Geography from Non-science to Science Discipline since the History of Geographic Thought


  • Henry U Agbebaku


Evolution, Geography, Geographic Thought, Non-Science, Science Methods, Review


Drawing from secondary data, the paper reviewed the evolution of geography from non-science to science discipline since the history of geographic thought. The objectives for this study were to examine geography as a science discipline and examine the contributions and achievements of great scholar during the pre-colonial and classical period. Science is aimed at understanding the world around us and attempt to discover regularities and order among the sometimes whirling buzzing chaos of experience. This involve correlation of certain characteristics and scientist attempts to formalize and generalize regularities. The methodology employed was a combination of content analysis of literature review and documentary materials. Findings from the study revealed that ancient scholars observed and projected geography as a science subject since time immemorial. This was due to its better methods of handling geographic data and techniques of solving problems and application of mathematical and statistical methods to attain a desired objective. In each of the sequential phases of pre-colonial (pre 19th Century), classical (19th Century), modern 20th Century and contemporary 21st Century periods, geographic thought were more scientific in approach but mainly during the 20th and 21st century as Geographers made used of the tools of quantitative techniques of mathematics and statistics to solve geographical problems and these transformations and developments help to position Geography as science.


En s'appuyant sur des données secondaires, l'article examine l'évolution de la géographie de la discipline non scientifique à la discipline scientifique depuis l'histoire de la connaissance de la géographie. L'objectif de cette étude est d'examiner la géographie en tant que discipline scientifique et d'étudier les contributions et les réalisations des grands savants dans le domaine de la géographie depuis la période précoloniale et classique jusqu'à nos jours. La science vise à comprendre le monde qui nous entoure et à tenter de découvrir des régularités et de l'ordre dans le bourdonnement des expériences chaotiques. Cela implique la corrélation de certaines caractéristiques et les tentatives des scientifiques de formaliser et de généraliser les régularités. La méthodologie employée est une combinaison d'analyse des œuvres et de documents. Les résultats de l'étude ont révélé que les anciens savants ont observé et projeté la géographie en tant que sujet scientifique depuis des temps immémoriaux. Cela était dû à ses meilleures méthodes de traitement des données géographiques et aux techniques de résolution des problèmes et d'application des méthodes mathématiques et statistiques pour atteindre un objectif souhaité. Dans chacune des périodes successives de l'ère précoloniale (avant le XIXe siècle), classique (XIXe siècle), moderne (XXe siècle) et contemporaine (XXIe siècle), la connaissance de la géographie est devenue plus scientifique dans son approche. En particulier au 20e et au 21e siècle, les géographes ont utilisé les outils des techniques quantitatives des mathématiques et des statistiques pour résoudre des problèmes géographiques et ces transformations et développements contribuent à positionner la géographie comme une science.


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How to Cite

Agbebaku, H. U. (2020). A Review of the Evolution of Geography from Non-science to Science Discipline since the History of Geographic Thought. West African Journal of Open and Flexible Learning, 9(1), 103–122. Retrieved from https://wajofel.org/index.php/wajofel/article/view/65



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