Re: MD Stuck with Map/Territory?

From: Marco (
Date: Sat Sep 07 2002 - 16:09:31 BST

Platt, Wim, Sam, all

I've followed the thread with scarce attention so probably I have missed a

Anyway, as you wrote:

> > >A couple of comments. Scott, Kevin and Marco appear to say that we
> > >all we can ever know are maps of reality. But if that's so, logic would
> > >demand that they must already know reality because they say it's
> > >incapable of being mapped.

I think I have to explain myself.

First I agree with Wim that we have to reject map/territory as a
fundamental split of reality, but can't deny the existence and usefulness of
maps. Then, to your question about map eating, my point is that when you eat
a pork steak, you eat a [dead] biological being. In my opinion the pig, in
order to live, stores information about its world (that is just inorganic
and biological, hard to say it's social...), something we can call a map.
Like to say that the food, that is for you the territory, is, from the
viewpoint of the pig, a map.

My point is not simply that all we can ever know are maps *of reality*. My
point is that maps *are real*. Once I wrote to Denis:

I guess if you see on a door a signal "DANGER - ANTHRAX - KEEP OUT" you
don't need to philosophize about the *real reality*. Even if you don't know
how anthrax relates to universe as a whole, even if you are not sure of what
is there behind the door, I assume you are not going to enter that room. All
what we do is based upon fictions, definitions, identifications, names,
assumptions. And these definitions are not a fictional *copy* of reality.
They are really real!!! They ARE.

I think Sam is more or less onto the same position when he writes:

Yet in understanding conceptual systems, eg the MoQ, it seems to me that
all that is being mapped is itself intellectual, and that therefore, in a
very straightforward sense, the map IS the territory

I agree. Intellectual maps are also part of the intellectual territory.... I
just extend the whole thing to the lower levels. Society maps the lower
levels, and the social level itself... and so on. Actually, it is thanks to
the fact that [good] maps become the new territory that evolution can
happen, step by step.


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