Symbolic Landscapes

  • Gary Backhaus
  • John Murungi

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Places—Worlds

  3. Geographical Sensibilities in the Arts

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 389-399

About this book


Symbolic Landscapes presents a definitive collection of landscape/place studies that explores symbolic, cultural levels of geographical meanings. Essays written by philosophers, geographers, architects, social scientists, art historians, and literati, bring specific modes of expertise and perspectives to this transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary study of the symbolic level human existential spatiality. Placing emphasis on the pre-cognitive genesis of symbolic meaning, as well as embodied, experiential (lived) geography, the volume offers a fresh, quasi-phenomenological approach.

The editors articulate the epistemological doctrine that perception and imagination form a continuum in which both are always implicated as complements. This approach makes a case for the interrelation of the geography of perception and the geography of imagination, which means that human/cultural geography offers only an abstraction if indeed an aesthetic geography is constituted merely as a sub-field. Human/cultural geography can only approach spatial reality through recognizing the intimate interrelative dialectic between the imaginative and perceptual meanings of our landscapes/place-worlds. This volume reinvigorates the importance of the topic of symbolism in human/cultural geography, landscape studies, philosophy of place, architecture and planning, and will stand among the classics in the field.


atlas design lived-geography philosophy pre-cognitive symbolic

Editors and affiliations

  • Gary Backhaus
    • 1
  • John Murungi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyLoyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

Bibliographic information