The professional field of resource management needs to be understood in its social, political, cultural, economic and environmental contexts. There are many reasons why resource managers should be able to recognise and respond to a wide range of interactions and dimensions of change in their professional work. From the outset, it has been argued that a professional education that isolates resource managers from understanding the wider contexts of their actions would be completely inadequate. The need for clarity of values, intellectual rigour, flexibility and openness, and professional literacy which includes a degree of both technical and philosophical sophistication has been emphasised. The aim, in other words, has not been to advocate a particular method or set of methods of resource management, but to nurture the philosophical means of choosing and refining the most appropriate available methods – the most logical, the most effective, and the most ethical possible. As Relph put it:

Method in the absence of philosophy opens the door for confusion and even violence because it is detached from its logical and ethical contexts.