Theories of Development and Underdevelopment and Chances of their Practical Application

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Engelhard, Karl
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서울대학교 국토문제연구소
지리학논총, Vol.10, pp. 383-389
perhaps the most important way in which modern geography differs from its immediate predecessors is in its far-reaching concern with theory. So modern physical, economic and social geography is in step with the aims of science in general. Science without theory is, as Kurt Lewin observed, essentially blind. Theoretical approach to reality means that we are effectively able to intergrate and interralate our observations in any field of knowlegde. Without an organizing structure knowledge is a mere collection of observations. Theory is the attempt to organized ,systematic framework in order to structure ideas and knowledge and to understand and

explain the complexity of the real world more readily and to predict future spatial patterns. Closely connected to theory is mo, del building. While models are the simplified on central structures and on main relations reduced· representations of a more complex situation, theory is the attempt to

explain what a model is demonstrating. Models and theories help us deal with complex situations. We simplify and concentrate on: what we perceive as the most important element or structure of a situation. Model-building and theoretical explanation of what a model is copying, is a fundamental

part of any learning process. Although no model can exactly represent reality, it can help not only in our immediate understanding of a problem, but it can also help us to ask the right kinds of questions, to increase our understanding. But this can be achived only if models and theories are tested rigorously. Thus an integral part of the scientific process is the carrying out of empirical studies, which should be clearly defined within an appropriate conceptual framework. If the assumpions of a model or a theory will prove false, further elaborations are nessesary.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Korean Regional Studies (국토문제연구소)지리학논총 (Journal of Geography)지리학논총 Volume 10 (1983)
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