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  • Open Access
  • © 2017

Knowledge and Action

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • Explores the interdependencies and interdisciplinarity of knowledge, action, and space

  • Focuses on knowledge as a prerequisite for action as part of individual and social behavior

  • Features theoretical frameworks, experimental outcomes, and empirical results from the social sciences

Part of the book series: Knowledge and Space (KNAS, volume 9)

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Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-x
  2. Knowledge, Action, and Space: An Introduction

    • Peter Meusburger, Benno Werlen
    Pages 1-30Open Access
  3. Action, Knowledge, and Social Relations of Space

    • Benno Werlen
    Pages 31-56Open Access
  4. Rationality and Discursive Articulation in Place-Making

    • Huib Ernste
    Pages 57-66Open Access
  5. Thought-in-Action/Action-in-Thought

    • Gunnar Olsson
    Pages 67-88Open Access
  6. How Much Knowledge Is Necessary for Action?

    • Joachim Funke
    Pages 99-111Open Access
  7. Knowing and Not Knowing

    • Nico Stehr
    Pages 113-125Open Access
  8. How Representations of Knowledge Shape Actions

    • Ralph Hertwig, Renato Frey
    Pages 127-143Open Access
  9. Reflection and Impulse as Determinants of Human Behavior

    • Anand Krishna, Fritz Strack
    Pages 145-167Open Access
  10. Planning and the Control of Action

    • Frank Wieber, Peter M. Gollwitzer
    Pages 169-183Open Access
  11. Pragmatic Philosophy and the Social Function of Knowledge

    • Tilman Reitz
    Pages 185-201Open Access
  12. Semantic Knowledge, Domains of Meaning and Conceptual Spaces

    • Peter Gärdenfors
    Pages 203-219Open Access
  13. So What Do You Do? Experimenting with Space for Social Creativity

    • Ariane Berthoin Antal, Victor J. Friedman
    Pages 221-251Open Access
  14. Continuity and Change in Older Adults’ Out-of-Home Mobility Over Ten Years: A Qualitative-Quantitative Approach

    • Heidrun Mollenkopf, Annette Hieber, Hans-Werner Wahl
    Pages 267-289Open Access
  15. Back Matter

    Pages 291-300

About this book

This volume explores interdependencies between knowledge, action, and space from different interdisciplinary perspectives. Some of the contributors discuss knowledge as a social construct based on collective action, while others look at knowledge as an individual capacity for action. The chapters contain theoretical frameworks as well as experimental outcomes.  

Readers will gain insight into key questions such as: How does knowledge function as a prerequisite for action? Why are knowledge gaps growing and not diminishing in a knowledge society? How much knowledge is necessary for action? How do various types of knowledge influence the steps from cognition to action? How do different representations of knowledge shape action? What impact have spatial conditions for the formation of knowledge? What is the relationship between social and geographical space? The contributors consider rationality in social and economic theories as well as in everyday life. Attention is also given to action theoretic approaches and rationality from the viewpoints of psychology, post-structuralism, and human geography, making this an attractive book for students, researchers and academics of various backgrounds. 

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license. 

Editors and Affiliations

  • Geographisches Institut, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

    Peter Meusburger

  • Department of Geography, University of Jena Department of Geography, Jena, Germany

    Benno Werlen

  • Department of Geography, Heidelberg University Department of Geography, Heidelberg, Germany

    Laura Suarsana

About the editors

Peter Meusburger, Prof. Dr. (*1942) graduated in Geography at Innsbruck University. 1983 – 2007 he held a full Professorship of Economic and Social Geography at the Department of Geography at Heidelberg University. He was visiting scholar in Japan, USA, Hungary, China and Brazil. Since 2007 he is Distinguished Senior Professor of Heidelberg University. He published more than 300 articles and wrote and edited 28 books. His recent research interests include 
• Geographies of Knowledge, Science and Education (Spatial disparities of knowledge and educational achievement; relations between knowledge and power; the nexus between knowledge and space; milieus of creativity; spatial “mobility” of knowledge; knowledge and action; knowledge in organizations; knowledge and economic performance; schooling situation in sparsely inhabited peripheral areas)
• Geography of Labor and Economic Geography (Educational achievement and professional skills of the labor force; spatial mobility, career and networks of scientists; spatial concentration of jobs for the highly skilled labor force; spatial disparities of the feminization of professions; female employment rates; economic and social transformations in Hungary after the change of the political system (1989); Liechtenstein as a tax-haven)
• Ethnic Minorities (Educational achievements of ethnic and religious minorities; the cultural dimension of knowledge; minorities in the public school system). 

Benno Werlen, Prof. Dr. (*1952) studied geography, sociology, cultural anthropology and economy at the Université de Fribourg (Switzerland). He got his PhD from the faculty of philosophy of the University of Fribourg and his Habilitation from the faculty of natural sciences of the university of Zurich. As guest professor he was working at the universities of Salzburg, Jena, Geneva and Nijmegen as well as at the Swiss Federal Technical Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH), as visiting scholar he worked at the universities of Cambridge, the London School of Economics, and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Since 1997 he holds the chair of social geography at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena. He is the founder of action centered geography, the initiator and the Executive Director of the ‘2016 International UN-Year of Global Understanding’ proclaimed by the International Sciences Councils of the Natural, Social and Human Sciences (ICSU, ISSC, CIPSH), Chair of the IGU-Commission ‘Cultural Approach in Geography’ (204-2106), and was a Panel Member of the European Research Council (Brussels) from 2008-15. His main interests are theory and methodology of the action centered geography, social spatiality, and (empirical) studies of political regionalism and nationalism/regional and national identities, processes of globalization and urbanization.
Book Publications (selection)
• Gesellschaft, Handlung und Raum. Grundlagen handlungstheoretische Sozialgeographie. [Sociaty, Action and Space. Foundation of Action Theoretical Social Geography]. Stuttgart: Steiner 1987 (3th edition: 1997)
• Society, Action and Space. An Alternative Human Geography. Preface by Anthony Giddens. London: Routledge 1993
• Kulturen und Raum. [Cultures and Space] Zürich: Rüegg Verlag 1993
• Zur Ontologie von Gesellschaft und Raum. [On Ontology of Society and Space] Stuttgart: Steiner 1995 (2nd ed: 1999)
• Globalisierung, Region und Regionalisierung. [Globalization, Region, and Regionalization] Stuttgart: Steiner 1997 (2nd ed. 2007)
• Sozialgeographie. Eine Einführung. [Social Geography. An Introduction] Bern: Haupt/UTB 2000 (3th ed. 2008)• Gesellschaftliche Räumlichkeit. Bd. 1: Ort der Geographie; Bd. 2: Konstruktion geographischer Wirklichkeiten. [Societal Spatiality. Vo. 1: Places of Geography; vol 2: Construction of Geographical Realities]. Stuttgart: Steiner 2010
• Global Sustainability. Cultural Perspectives and Challenges for Transdisciplinary Integrated Research. Cham/Heidelberg/New York/Dordrecht/London: Springer 2015

Laura Suarsana is Research Associate at the Department of Geography at Heidelberg University. Her main research fields include Geographies of Civic Engagement, Civil Society and Philanthropy, Geographies of Public and Common Goods, Network Analysis and Social and Economic Geography. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Knowledge and Action

  • Editors: Peter Meusburger, Benno Werlen, Laura Suarsana

  • Series Title: Knowledge and Space

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-44587-8Published: 18 January 2017

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-83087-2Published: 30 April 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-44588-5Published: 11 January 2017

  • Series ISSN: 1877-9220

  • Series E-ISSN: 2543-0580

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 300

  • Number of Illustrations: 35 b/w illustrations, 20 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Human Geography, Psychology Research, Social Theory, Knowledge - Discourse

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access