Map–territory relation – Wikipedia

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Map–territory relation

Tissot’s indicatrices viewed on a sphere: all are identical circles
The Behrmann projection with Tissot’s indicatrices
The indicatrices demonstrate the difference between the 3D world as seen from space and 2D projections of its surface

The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski remarked that “the map is not the territory” and that “the word is not the thing”, encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself. The relationship has also been expressed in other terms, such as Alan Watts‘s “The menu is not the meal.”

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