research

on synchronisity of art and culture, technology and environment

map is different from the territory

without comments

Gregory Bateson, in “Form, Substance and Difference,” from Steps to an Ecology of Mind
(1972), elucidates the essential impossibility of knowing what the
territory is, as any understanding of it is based on some
representation:

We say the map is different from the territory. But what is the
territory? Operationally, somebody went out with a retina or a
measuring stick and made representations which were then put on paper.
What is on the paper map is a representation of what was in the retinal
representation of the man who made the map; and as you push the
question back, what you find is an infinite regress, an infinite series
of maps. The territory never gets in at all. […] Always, the process of
representation will filter it out so that the mental world is only maps
of maps, ad infinitum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map-territory_relation

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January 11th, 2009 at 11:42 pm

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