Paradigm, Philosophy and Geographic Thought
Direct Realism and New or Critical Realism both refer to theories of knowing, perception and cognition. Scientific Realism is used when we are discussing philosophies of science, forms of explanation and questions of metaphysics. For earlier realism people use the term Platonic-Socratic or Scholastic Realism. A traceable line of Platonic-Socratic Realism runs from Scot through Western thought up to our time. The problem for us is that some elements of this early form of realism become known as idealism while other elements continued in essentially the same form as qualified variants of realism. Direct Realism by itself appears to have had little impact on geographical writing. But associated with this academic movement was a popular movement called Naive Realism. Even today, with the wave of geographical studies in urban and regional planning, there remains a tradition of Naive Realism. The tradition of Naive Realism presents a paradox in our time.