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Curiosity, Inquiry, and the Geographical Imagination

Daniel Gade

This book examines intellectual curiosity as the driving force in scholarly endeavor on the borderlands of geography, history, anthropology, and other disciplines. The premise is that curiosity is a salient trait of certain people past and present and that each field has its exemplars in this regard. For Carl O. Sauer (1889-1975), America’s leading geographer of the twentieth century, and his intellectual descendants, the inquisitive spirit stood high on the list of indispensable scholarly attributes. Their curiosity-driven studies converging space, time, ecology, and culture involved a fluid and unpredictable process of intellectual discovery. This book, combining the empirical with the philosophical and reflexive, describes how the power of intrinsic motivation and the thread of a romantic consciousness blend with the joy of polymathic exploration.

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