This article describes a personal perception of a promising way forward for the discipline of geomorphology. Four challenges and potential solutions are identified. First, the intellectual rationale and philosophical basis of geomorphology could benefit by exploring the framework of critical realism, a framework which recognizes that human experience is as real as the existence of elementary particles. Second, greater effort should perhaps be given to defining the ‘natural kinds’ which are the objects of geomorphological study. Third, the balance between geomorphological geohistory and process geomorphology requires constant attention. And fourth, the increasingly anthropogenic nature of landscape requires that geomorphologists reinforce their commitment to environmental conservation and social justice. The net effect of these trends might well increase informed geomorphological commentary on ethical implications of global landform and landscape changes.