By Helen Meller
One of many nice social thinkers of the overdue 19th and early 20th century, Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) loved a profession of magnificent range. This new research of his existence and paintings studies his principles and philosophy of making plans, offering a scholarly but available account for these drawn to the historical past of making plans, city layout, social idea and 19th century British background.
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Additional resources for Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner (Routledge Geography, Environment, and Planning Series)
Edmond Demolins. De Tourville was an aristocrat, who, having taken holy orders, became vicar of St Augustine’s church in Paris in 1873, the year he met Le Play. He became deeply involved in the intellectual potential of Le Play’s ideas, and tried to work out a means of overcoming one of the more obvious weaknesses in his methodological structure. This was the impossibility of systematically linking the individual family to the rest of society. If the challenge was to explain change by relating family structure to environment, then this could not be done on the basis of the analysis of different individual families.
This was the last and possibly, for Geddes himself, the greatest legacy of his youthful search for a new cosmology. He invented a series of diagrams which he described as ‘thinking machines’: graphic methods for encouraging different ways of thinking. By using these thinking machines Geddes hoped to initiate and educate others to accept the need for educational reform and the need to pursue a synthesis of all knowledge. In the early twentieth century in Britain, Victor Branford tried to promote Geddes’ ideas as the Le Play/Geddes method, a fully-realised development from Le Play’s original theories.
16 The insight came to him, when, as a child, he climbed the hill behind his home and looked down on his favourite view, the valley of the River Tay. There, the town of Perth nestled on the valley floor, framed by the mountains behind it. Geddes was to insist that this gave him the idea of the city and its region which his subsequent evolutionary studies were to extend and deepen. A sense of geography, and the concept of the region as a suitable unit for evolutionary study, were ideas currently common amongst natural scientists in the third quarter of the nineteenth century.