Historická geografie mezi geografií a historiografií
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HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY, BETWEEN GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY
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The purpose of the paper was to point out the significance of the discussion about the character of historical geography, its form and future development. What is, or what should be, the subject matter of historical-geographic research? As far as the present state of historical geography is concerned, we can find the following deficiencies: 1) unexplained status somewhere between historiography and geography, or the subject matter and object of research; 2) unexplained purpose and target of historical geographic research; 3) fragmentation of research and weak internal integrity of the field; 4) very descriptive character of research hardly focused on explaining and searching for regularities (rules); 5) low applicability of research results. With regard to the aforementioned issues, the author came up with several statements regarding future development of historical geography: 1) Historical geography is mostly geography, geographical science. 2) Even though it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish between historical geography and other geographical disciplines, its undisputable contribution is the fact that similarly as history it becomes a bridge between our past and presence. 3) Historical geography should emphasize space, rather than time, it is mostly about geographical organisation of landscape in the given period, i.e. a space-time science. On the other hand historiography which focuses on linear development in time and on chronology is (more of a time-space science. 4) Nomothetically oriented historical geography should research the state and development, causes and mechanisms of landscape changes or changes of its individual components during a certain period in the past. 5) It is necessary to initiate a broader discussion about the understanding of time and history in historical geography. It is necessary to try to define more clearly its subject matter and topic of research. 6) The purpose of historical geography is not to describe and explain the development of selected landscape features in time by means of a retrospective method. Its purpose is to understand the complexity and function of past landscape, landscape spheres. Only such historical geography can become a real geography of the past. 7) The above-described understanding of historical geography would also enable us to apply historical-geographic knowledge.
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