This article introduces some of the basic elements of Integral Geography as both theory and practice for applying the AQAL framework to the study of the world. A historical overview elaborates what geography is, how it evolved as a discipline, and how geographers frame a number of key dimensions of inquiry in studying both the human and natural world. These key dimensions are then situated in relation to the AQAL framework and are used to reveal how space, spatiality, and topology are intrinsic to the AQAL map and Integral Theory in general. A number of research questions are raised for exploring the further development of Integral Geography and its potential use in other areas of Integral theory and practice.
This article introduces the concept of Integral Geography as a theory and practice of applying the AQAL framework towards the study of geographical aspects of the world. Integral Geography focuses on the role that space and place play in any aspect of inquiry that uses the Integral framework. Integral Geography is introduced by first presenting an overview on what geography is and why it matters in studying affairs of the world and builds upon some initial ideas I have developed in the past.1 First, a brief overview of the historical development of the field of geography is presented, along with a discussion on some of the main dimensions of geographical inquiry that emerged from this historical development. Second, these dimensions are then related to the AQAL framework as a means for interfacing some of the terminology used in geography to elements of Integral Theory. What is revealed by this analysis is that space and topology are intrinsic to the AQAL framework and Integral Theory in general, and that both the AQAL model and its application involve doing geography in some respect, whether theorists and practitioners are or have been aware of it as geography. Third, a number of potential research questions are raised where Integral Geography can contribute both to the further development of Integral Theory and in practice for any Integral domain that seeks to explore and make use of space and place more fully in their respective work.
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About Brian Eddy
BRIAN EDDY, Ph.D., graduated in Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario in 2006. His doctoral research involved the application of Integral Theory to mapping indicators of sustainability and wellbeing using GIS and Cybercartography. His consultancy (www.igeo.ca) focuses on applying ecosystems-based management approaches for land-use planning, regional environmental and socio-economic assessment, and mapping indicators at multiple geographic scales. He lives in Ottawa.