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Editors: Claval, Paul
Pagnini, Maria Paola
Scaini, Maurizio
Issue Date: 19-Jul-2006
Journal: Proceedings of the Conference THE CULTURAL TURN IN GEOGRAPHY, 18-20th of September 2003 - Gorizia Campus
Part II: Landscape Construction and Cultural Identity
The perception of space, according to Kant, has a pre-eminent role in the transformation of
experience into knowledge: together with time it is an a priori representation that makes it
possible to order the amorphous mass of subjective perceptions. It is an absolute space, which
can be represented via pure intuition, but is not the fruit of a simple mental construct: the
objects and their geometry exist per se and represent the assumption on which the intuition is
Even today we may find traces of this way of looking at space in all fields of knowledge,
as well as in daily individual experience, but tendencies towards more complex models are
evident and frequent. As early as in the twentieth century, according to an authoritative
literature, the shift in the very paradigm of knowledge from the Modern to the Post-Modern
initiated a phase of profound transformation, which also had important effects on the concept
of space. What seems to be broadly accepted is that this concept depends largely on the sociocultural
context of the individual that constructs it and uses it.
In the following pages I propose to investigate the popularity of this concept and the use
that is made of it in the scientific community of the University of Lecce. In the first section I
will try to provide an outline of the conception of geographical space (social and systemic)
adopted in this study, starting with a few reflections on the limits of the traditional spacecontainer
and the reasons for its use. In the subsequent sections I will present the survey
carried out in the field: the concept of space that seems to emerge from the various
experiences of life and research is systematically compared to the parameter constituted by the
concept of geographical space defined in section 1; the ultimate objective is to identify
clusters of disciplines that share the same idea (or the same ideas) of space, and to attempt to
evaluate the distance between them, in terms of complexity. The survey also provides
information on the epistemological evolution (or "trajectories" we might say) of certain
disciplines, revealing analogies, in some cases unexpected, between fields of research that
have traditionally been held to be quite distant from each other, and prompting a few
considerations on the way in which the interviewees interpret the great cultural changes of the
last century.
Type: Proceedings
ISBN: 88-8303-180-6
Rights: © Copyright 2003 Edizioni Università di Trieste - EUT
Appears in Collections:The cultural turn in geography

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