Fred K.

Schaefer and the Science of Geography
Author(s): William Bunge
Source: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 69, No. 1, Special Issue:
Seventy-Five Years of American Geography (Mar., 1979), pp. 128-132
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association of American Geographers
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Inc. His interest in ge- mimeographed versions was the one appearing in Har- ography.. "Theoretical Geography."20 and two later alumni. He was a man of his times and Ger- to him. a logical positivist was not accorded the recognition within the who had been one of the original Vienna Cir- Iowa department that others since have given cle. under the editorship of William come from a frustration of his political life. "Methodology. and an intellectual who remembered During part of World War I he worked on a his humanist commitment. McCarty. University of Washington.155. At the end he poured his heart into geography This content downloaded from 146. He was the oracle outside tance in time. man metal workers in 1921 were political radi- Schaefer was born on July 7. An Geography. Bunge. in deriving a mathematical proof. Army. There is do doubt that all geographers in the 1960s. though genuine and deep. Bergmann. 23 G. 17. thereby freeing us from self-defeat. Amedeo and Golledge. The Philosophy of Science (Madi- ies in Geography. "Fred K. a life was that of a typical workingman's son. a close friend of Schaefer. an im- Bergmann's book on the philosophy of science portant milestone in the development of a certainly was!23 His influence on the work of positivistic approach to human geography the Iowa geographers was seen everywhere. p.101 on Fri. and the teacher it. At this dis." Lund Stud. seemed to vard Papers in Theoretical Geography. 21 (1959). it seems strange that the paper the geography department. 1957). No. Bunge. Warntz. From 1918 to 1921 he followed in Not much remains for us to do except to say the family tradition as an apprentice metal we are ashamed and sorry for what happened worker. FRED K. Bunge. No. Special Papers Series. p. He was a ferocious farm while his father served in the German fighter for decent and sensible human relations." Discussion Papers. son: The University of Wisconsin Press. Special Papers Series. as I recall.jstor. Introduction to Scientific Reasoning in Geography phy. 21 W. his primary interest was political William Bunge.128 SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY March be the pervasive influence of "exceptionalism" to Schaefer's article and that was in Bunge's in geographic thought and stressed that geog. Gustav Bergmann.22 raphy must cultivate its systematic aspects and At Iowa in the late fifties there was still emphasize the search for laws. a position * This paper. required reading. If Schaefer's by the Iowa geographers at the time. Most prominent of several previous and his politics were leftist. He conscious member of the human race. and His father was a metal worker and his early when he was only seventeen he was Secretary of the Trade Union Youth Section. 1904.24 Bunge has stated will have to be commented on by others. 1968. Schaefer and the Science of 24 Douglas Amedeo and Reginald G. Series C. and Knos offered a similar acknowledge- service in sweeping away our excuses and ment in their study of industrial geography. cals. last years. 12. Schaefer joined the Social Democrats. 20 W. a attended public school from 1911 to 1918. which was widely circulated among he held until 1925. who Kennelly acknowledged Bergmann's assistance was a faculty member at Iowa in the sixties. appears here in a somewhat through his life. And yet paper was not. it was a methodological tour de force. 04 Aug 2017 14:33:08 UTC All use subject to http://about. own paper. was to write: "Schaefer has done us a great Hook. with only the exception of his condensed form with the permission of the author. in . Paper A (1968). (New York: John Wiley & Sons. SCHAEFER AND THE SCIENCE OF GEOGRAPHY* William Bunge KURT SCHAEFER was a whole man. Department of Geography. 1975).-Ed." Harvard Papers in Theoretical Geogra. William Bunge.21 In the early Washington dis- cussion papers I could find only one reference 22 W. Whether the influence of Schaefer on Garri- borrowed heavily from his writings in their son's group at Washington was as great as book on scientific reasoning in geography. scientist. viewed as a social science. Golledge. No reference was made to it in publications in one way or another of most of us who went through the Iowa department. Paper A. 1 (1962).48.

British politics and wrote newspaper articles." Schaefer tics and advanced mathematics at the London then spent a year at the Deutsche Hochschule School of Economics. In 1936 he did research for the Institute Gymnasium as an "adult student" and grad. Scattergood itself was filled As the Nazis made their bid for power. but the heart of his political work and political geography. ists) to obtain employment in depression En- In 1925 he entered Kaiser Friedrich Real gland. During 1937 financial and social problems then confronting and 1938 he worked as a statistician on "Move- adult students. series of lectures on "What to do with Ger- ing young Socialist. he was interested in the flourishing art to act as an adviser to a "workmen's sick and movement of Berlin and showed preference for death benefit fund" and remained there during the art of social protest. Foreign Policy and Germany. former member of the Reichstag. sought to produce. enough with the Second International (Social- duced was not destroyed. while also working for was in helping fellow Germans out of Nazi the city of Berlin as a social worker with un. Smith's restau- This content downloaded from 146. Nazis. The horrible knowledge of crats that preferred resistance by the already what had been done to his German friends was armed and drilled workers to surrender to the thus daily refreshed. He spoke School and Health Statistics. Schaefer. widely over the state and wrote articles for cilor for social insurance of the Municipal journals and papers. Like many young German intellectuals of the He arrived in New York via Cuba and Florida time. an athletic ditions in Middle Europe. Committee. He im- mathematics and population statistics.jstor. gee camp run by the American Friends Service ship to attend the University of Berlin. like so many of his geography. 1979 THE CORNBELT CONNECTION 129 almost to be able to say that one result he pro. His mission was to arouse Workers' Association and teacher at the Trade people to the Nazi menace and he worked at Union College. That spring he also remained throughout life and eventually in.155. always found employment. Germany. He was important five or six radicals on the staff." the City of Berlin working in the section of "Whither Europe?".S. Schaefer. search Bureau. In later life he stayed physically active by ice. He also was somewhat active in employed youth. and later with the Department of Geography. and Sir Wal- skating and walking long distances. on social con- sides that also shaped him. half-time instructor in the School of Commerce with sirens screaming in the middle of the night. mediately commenced his political work with a In jobless Germany. tinued into postgraduate studies until 1932. His interest in the arts the winter of 1938 and 1939." From 1928 to 1932 he was a statistician for "Trends in the German Economic System. one-hundred and sixty pounds and almost six In 1938 he left England equipped with ref- feet tall. toward the end of the Great The twenty-seven year old political refugee Depression. near the State University of Iowa. and others. As an and people like him were immediately subjected intellectual he became a member of the staff to terrorism. The heroic Germany of the 1920s had other especially for the Daily Herald. During this period." continued his studies in statis- privation and iron determination. unmarried and steeped in politics. it with ferocity. the State University of Iowa had made his way to London.101 on Fri. head of the British Trade Unions. ter Citrine. erences from people such as Gerhard Seeger. with the human wrecks the Nazis deliberately Schaefer was in that wing of the Social Demo. "U. He was under constant police surveillance. a refu- In 1928 his union gave Schaefer a scholar. He had political use for fur Politik where he studied political science these . The Nazis came to his neighbors' of the State University of Iowa. moved to Iowa to help as a laborer to establish cluded music. His It was here at Scattergood that Schaefer began main fields of study as an undergraduate were his serious study of music. and according to his aunt. As a graduate student he studied kind. He was also coun. But Hitler came to power and Schaefer His life was consistent in other ways. He con. many?".48. His work at the gymnasium was ments in Population" for the New Fabian Re- at night school. originally as a houses. the promis. was an active member of a hiking club. and political thirty-four years old and. first on one side and then on the other. Schaefer was now economics. the Scattergood Rehabilitation Center. economic geography. the student with "iron "His years as a student were passed under great determination. 04 Aug 2017 14:33:08 UTC All use subject to http://about. Schaefer. of Social Biology (London University) and for uated with distinction in 1927 despite the hard the British Trade Union Congress.

In 1947 he married Mary Strub. p.101 on Fri. was threatened. 227. Hoover." Annals. Schaefer. Geography" as it was originally titled. concerning an address he was Schaefer's early and continued interest in to give in the Geology auditorium. students to carry on his approach nor very but it is probable that we will go to war if we much writing. and Nazi generals skills to geography. All individ. All told. op. most of his advanced hold on to the false impressions we now have. and ThUnen.155. pp. the centrality of capitals. he appears to were not only allowed to go free but eventually have been about ten years ahead of the rest of encouraged. He was soft-spoken yet tief and Vining. this book that led to his great contribution. ence and the possibility of spatial laws. Vol. 49. Unfortunately. His main interest the specifics of both his attack and his positive remained in political geography but he spent substitute "spatial relations" and even more much time translating Lbsch's Economics of sharply. these men. cit. in- demic colleagues. He was a man of Soviet Union. Schaefer dropped sons for their various types of locations but out of school for some months to gather him. Schaefer's stu- This dedicated politician had high standards dents were writing articles in seminars on Leon- for himself and others. He remained interested the Nazis. His second chapter dealt with "The Nature of marily of "shadowing" these men. "patterns" 3 Location from the original German into En- glish. 3 Schaefer. "Ex- waukee. "'War with Russia is not inevitable.. 'The United mathematics was put to use not only in under- States' social system could never survive such standing the mathematical treatment of Lbsch a war. It seems that during this period of with. in October. he produced neither speeches. Only frag- always very low (between 1938 and 1943 his ments of other chapters remain. Therefore.48. self. etc. Schaefer immediately affiliated. On a university form. Association of American Geographers. he turned aside from his po- hated "mere description" which he attributed litical writing and became a full-time geogra- to regionalists and he despised "uniqueness. He hated nomic understanding. political . he felt. 226- 1 Daily Iowan. It was the preparation of rassment against the men of Smith's Restaurant. This was ual protections fell away and Schaefer's income. Iowa. after the entry The oblique references to free will. "Exceptionalism in Geography: Christaller. especially of viet Union. He was in personal correspondence with 2 Fred K. but in preparing a book on In the early 1950s the FBI began open har. He had figured out much of some lasting accomplishment. and discussed general rea- ordeal in the spring of 1946. various countries with peripheral locations. substituted for the search for He seemed at forty-two determined to produce scientific laws. versity of Iowa. 1947. For example. The technique consisted pri.' he added. in mathematics and statistics and applied these the lesser Nazi functionaries." others. footnote 2. including Schaefer. he was perfecting a new strategy and ceptionalism in Geography: A Methodological he decided to stop being such an obvious radi."' and Christaller. student newspaper of the State Uni. he concentrated on his methodological chapter drawal. gestalt and "Achievements" he had written "Scarcely any. He read Russian fluently and ironical and was contemptuous of those who established a collection of materials on the So- were not as intellectual as he. He Intellectually.. Schaefer delivered a series of bitter geography. which he spent at a rest home in Mil. to be the methodological chapter." pher. Lbsch. October 19. When the war ended and the Krupps. 43 (1953). income with the University was listed as only he had used his mathematical skills to compare eight hundred dollars per year). At the beginning of his final ternal locations. 04 Aug 2017 14:33:08 UTC All use subject to http://about. His course on political geogra- character who believed in a principled life and phy was taught from the perspective that the would not hesitate to turn even on long time politics were incomprehensible without eco- friends if he thought they had faltered.' outlook had to be painfully rediscovered by said Professor Kurt Schaefer in an interview others at a later date. Schaefer's article consistently defends sci- a native of Iowa City. Iowa City.jstor. He then grouped the He was abandoned by "friends" and by aca.130 SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY March rant provided an informal meeting place for By 1950 Schaefer was teaching Christaller. never went very far in this direction. A Methodological Examination. He taught the geography of the fellow university professors. Instead. Examination. "2 cal politician. which later emerged as his famous article. 1947. This content downloaded from 146.

are these professionals. arrangement of the phenomena in an area and not We. pp. In sum. fled Hitler for the most part. 1979 THE CORNBELT CONNECTION 131 Description. 7 Fred K. the result of processes. Bergmann was one of the tures we explore are. and no the search for laws. .. pored over. op. In this event the systematic geog- specialists such as the geologist. Spatial rela. The word hypo- man refugees with powerful minds and strong thetical merely indicated that he neglected. the geographers. anthropologist. 6 Schaefer. Even in his hyperpolitical period in 1943 he flatly asserted that geography In the immediate geographic milieu Schaefer was a science.101 on Fri. The laws of all three categories which we have dis- He introduces "spatial relations" with decisive. "Geography Training a National 4 Schaefer. To of the subject matter of scientific geography. I am so much to the phenomena themselves. tinguished are no doubt both interesting and impor- ness :4 tant. must pay attention to the spatial fessional cultivation of these skills well worth while. Nonspatial relations found among the phe. For the remaining ones he states Schaefer's second contribution. own sake and thus limit itself more and more to nomena in an area are the subject matter of other mere description. p. These two ready made. 4 (1943).org/terms . Another way of saying What may one infer from all this for the future of the same thing is to insist that science is not so geography? It seems to me that as long as geogra- much interested in individual facts as in the patterns phers cultivate its systematic aspects. footnote 2. call such comparatively crude correlations patterns was the critical and entirely independent con- rather than laws is perhaps laudable [sic] modest. Of all the limitations on geography this ally attach himself to the systematic sciences. change. a few variables. tribution. and Christaller and launched Garrison and his raiders. two basic contributions: an introduction to ge- tion but time is not necessary to describe mo. Schaefer. footnote 2. original Vienna Circle and he. ThUnen. This content downloaded from 146. one seems to be the most difficult for geographers to observe. pp. 04 Aug 2017 14:33:08 UTC All use subject to http://about. Purely geo. or scientist. cit. all but characters. op. Handicap. or rapher will have to move much closer and eventu- economist. throwing geography completely out. thus. Obviously. and found his way to Iowa City. His intense concentra- Hoover. prospects as a discipline of its own are good indeed. cit. Lbsch. and tion:5 an identification of spatial relations as the sub- ject matter of geography. Schaefer's methodology interpreted and Hoover examples. 23. But the geographer.. for the purpose of his climatological generalization. Schaefer had always conceived of ge- are different from laws. That dan- graphic terms and takes a passing shot at time. 5 Schaefer. It was Schaefer whom the gang problem for some time. This is not to deny that the spatial struc- Gustav Bergmann.jstor.7 But it remained unclear as to was the methodologist for the rising predic- what the subject matter of the science of geog- tors in geography given such great impetus raphy was and he evidently wrestled with this by Christaller. footnote 2. Let us in this connection consider men became the closest of friends as two Ger- Koeppen's Hypothetical Continent. ography of modern philosophy of science. does Like any good prophet. so. The tide has turned. But to think that patterns. the discovery a spatial correlation that is morphological law. p. exhibit. not so optimistic in case geography should reject tions are the ones that matter in geography. Schaefer received a Geography is essentially morphological. would be a mistake. fine education in philosophy of science from graphical laws contain no reference to time and one of its internationally renowned masters. he considered Christaller. geography's they. ography. . even if followed by classification. 9-10." Journal of Business. cit.. 249. The phenomena of spatial change that he at. Vol. Schaefer not explain the manner in which phenomena are exposed himself to the dangers of making pre- distributed over the world. University of Iowa. To explain the phenom- dictions: 6 ena one had described means always to recognize them as instances of laws.48. ger now seems past. too. No. like all other structures any- where.155. . exalt its regional aspects for its others. from his ar- that Garrison gathered together at Washington ticle. To judge even from recent research they And the gloomy end almost happened with do not always clearly distinguish between. 228. And they all contain spatial factors to an ex- tent that requires special skills and makes the pro- Geography. deals with them as he finds them. LUsch. op. in this sense of pattern. "regional science" threatening to pull away the cial relations on the one hand and spatial relations last great systematic bastion of economic ge- among social factors on the other. 243-44. with one better school after another He specifically identifies "patterns" in geo. say. ography as a science. Schaefer's historic article consists of tacks can be maintained in geography as mo.

" Annals. he died of a second one. 04 Aug 2017 14:33:08 UTC All use subject to http://about. Elsewhere he refers to shape. "Post War Geopolitics and Economics. was not without strong opposi- contribution could be made to scientific method by tion which further drained his energies. and friends. "The Growth is included in Schaefer's papers which were donated of Cartels. 9-10. . When he gave a copy of his final draft to Pro. University of Chicago. In some ways it is unfortunate that the department. 2. "reason for being"-had not yet been pub- odological thinking about a field historically estab- lished. pp. 6. he was not more explicit about the term "spatial "This is my reason for existence in geography. "Geography Training a National Handicap. "The Nature of Geography. nomic Problems (New York: Pitman Publish- Mary Schaefer. ed. 4-6. months. 1946. to fully appreciate what Schaefer country until he was isolated from his world had written. of its youth. pp. He had Washington. 23. He trans- Geography . Schaefer in a way that those of us who have Schaefer. 9 Fred K.) ing Corporation). No. This content downloaded from 146. With geography." Educa- 8 Fred K. 1-6. The maturity of a field then expresses No. Vol. 8.132 SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY March tion on Christaller and L6sch probably gave fessor Harold McCarty. 5. (This manuscript 1947. World Eco- to the American Geographical Society by his wife. 1953.155. Deeply tired. "Political Geography. State University of Iowa. lished manuscript." Journal of it prevails. Schaefer was deeply involved in his article. Still. Fire engine sirens and centrality as being spatial and the subject vividly reminded him of Hitler's terrorism. 226-49. He of geography. With Charles Addison Hickman. His good friend Bergmann had to com- lished comes at a later stage of development when it is found necessary to systematize and order ac- plete the final mechanics of publication. "Exceptionalism in Geography. pp." Journal of sirable from a merely logical view of order and Business. American Geographical Society. it was difficult for the bulk became distinctly nervous if a person got on of geographers to obtain a clear idea of the and off the bus with him since he had been meaning of "spatial relationships" unless they followed by the Gestapo and the FBI for were intimate with the Christaller type of lit. Asso- Chapter 2. pp." 1953. 43. Hence the meth- odology of any field tends to be a compromise be. 43. In one not understand. tions are related to minor ones. Chapter 3. areal extent. Vol. to marry. . He was quired knowledge and to obtain guidance in the denied even this satisfaction. to which it has been able to rid itself from acci- 1943. he was trembling and said. Scientific fields have grown historically by the in. In the winter of 1952-1953 of the early drafts of this great article he wrote: 9 Schaefer suffered a heart attack and on June 6. The theoretical nature of patterns has been somewhat neglected by The production of the article." It remained for Warntz and for His first forty-two years had been devoted to Garrison and his students at the University of a way of life that had been destroyed.101 on Fri. A typical theoretical situation in stroyed world to geography and in seven years geography is described usually by way of patterns. "German Business Under Hitler. itself in the degree to which the logical element in "Japan's Supply of Raw Materials. State University of Iowa. in the manner in which major proposi- Business. of intense further effort produced one great Patterns are morphological laws. Koeppen's Hypo- work. and in the extent No. McCarthyism repulsed and sickened erature. pp. "Area Study and General . pp. he had decided to ration: 8 stand and fight where he was. Schaefer. search for more and better truth. 1945. who was chairman of him hints. sheer brilliance of argument his only weapon.jstor. procedure. Vol.48. unpublished manuscript. 1-2. cation. thetical Continent is such a law. seems to be a field inclined and compelled to produce morphological laws rather ferred his idealism and energies from his de- than process laws." unpub. to turn himself seriously to his profession. His article-his terest that curious men have taken in nature. his "achieve- geographers and it looks as if here a real scientific ment" in life." School Review. State University of Iowa. 11-14. Vol. 161-82. the rational man. 21. approached his not seen Hitler come to our native land can- methodology in an appealing fashion. Schaefer gave only scanty elabo. Schaefer. 4. Vol. February issue." in Hickman." dental activities and views acquired during the time Journal of Business. p. No. pp. BIBLIOGRAPHY tween what has grown historically and what is de- 1941." relations. Schaefer fought to be heard. 21. pp. 90-97.. Meth. papers. Schaefer ciation of American Geographers. also careful readers of L6sch and been harried from job to job and country to Christaller.