Forms of explanation
This chapter outlines and justifi es the different types of explanation that are regarded as acceptable within physical geography. Central to each mode of explanation are the researchers themselves. By defi ning the nature of the study, the questions to be asked and the entities to be studied, the researcher also sets the criteria by which a study is judged to be successful (see Chapter 10 for a discussion on the social context in which physical geographers carry out their research). Despite the wide variations in underlying philosophies, what is regarded as an acceptable explanatory framework needs to be established in order to understand where certain philosophies may be more appropriate for certain types of explanation and subject matter.