Series 14 Vol 1 No 1 (2018)

Cose, rappresentazioni, pratiche: uno sguardo sull’ontologia ibrida della Geografia

Marcello Tanca
Dipartimento di Storia, Beni culturali e Territorio, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Italia

Published 2018-11-29


  • ontology,
  • hybrids,
  • things,
  • representations,
  • non-representational practices

How to Cite

Tanca, M. (2018). Cose, rappresentazioni, pratiche: uno sguardo sull’ontologia ibrida della Geografia. Bollettino Della Società Geografica Italiana, 1(1), 5-17.


This article explores the ontology of geography. The main characteristic of this ontology is to be a hybrid, because the entities that inhabit it – that is things, representations and practices – are heterogeneous and irreducible to a common root. These three regions of Being have in fact different properties. The attributes of things are spatiality and presence; the attributes of representations are the symbolic and intentionality; finally, the attributes of practices are embodiment and unintentional action. Each of these corresponds to a “moment” of the evolution of geographical thought: geography of things is classical geography, based on “naive realism” and “metaphysics of the object”; geography of the representations coincides with the post-structuralist phase of social constructivism and symbolic landscapes; non-representational geographies instead are one description of what happens, of pre-cognitive aspects of embodied life, affects, performative efficacy of our concrete relationships with the world. The central idea of the article is that we must never forget that the realm of geography, its ontology, strictly needs these three diverse levels of reality.