Geomorphic processes typically are viewed as manifestations of mechanical stresses operating on earth materials to produce various forms of strain. This conception is embedded within physics generally and mechanics specifically. Initially, the concept of process was associated with open systems and a time-independent view of process-form adjustments. Over time, the concept has been expanded to encompass nonlinear behavior and time-dependent dynamics. The mechanistic conception of process has considerable epistemic value; however, an ontology of process grounded on mechanistic materialism is problematic. Process metaphysics offers an alternative conception that places process, rather than mechanics, in a position of ontological primacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Foundations of Geomorphology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780080885223
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Epistemology
  • Form
  • Geomorphology
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Mechanics
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Ontology
  • Philosophy
  • Process
  • Process metaphysics
  • Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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