The present study was undertaken because American geographers, though given to frequent discussions of the nature and scope of their field have been unfamiliar with the past discussions and more serious studies of the problems in question, particularly the studies in the foreign literature. Lack of understanding of the consistent characteristics of the field during its modern development as a discipline has led to dissatisfaction and recurrent attempts to reform. In place of presenting a personal view of what geography ought to be, the problem is conceived of as a research problem, to examine the field as scholars have worked in it and conceived it and thereby to determine what geography is and what are its characteristics and qualifications as a branch of knowledge. Certain proposals for change are for emphasis of certain concepts that have recently been urged among American geographers but have long been studied by European geographers, are examined and tested.
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