Academy,  2 (1870–71), 286–87.

[Review of New Problems of Comparative Geography, by Oscar F Peschel]

Keith Johnston, Jun.



Publications reviewed:

Peschel 1870


Comparative Anatomy, Comparative Philology, Physical Geography, Nomenclature, Natural Theology, Climatology, Glaciology, Geology, Vulcanology, Chemistry, Exploration

People mentioned:

Karl Ritter , James D Dana

Publications cited:

Ritter 1822–59

    Suggests that 'just as comparison in anatomy leads the way to arguments on the origin of species, as philology aids in proving the unity of the great branches of the human family', so the researches of Oskar F Peschel seek 'to show how the form of each particular portion of the outer world, each landscape, bears in itself a record of the contests and changes which it has suffered, and how, from a survey of the distribution of resembling forms, some light may be thrown upon the causes by which these have been originated' (286). Reports that, as Carl G C Bischof has demonstrated, 'Chemistry reveals a more probable cause' than 'the force of earthquakes or volcanic power' for the production of 'a power adequate to produce the phenomena of mountain elevation for which comparative geography seeks to find an explanation' (286–87). Contends that in the past 'Speculation on the causes of the varied features of the landscape, drawn from the study of one region or of one continent alone, could at best have been guesses at truth', and that now the 'comparative method' in geography is 'progressively increasing in value [...] as the exploration of the globe proceeds year by year' (287).

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