A Map Is Only Useful if It Simplifies Things. To What Extent Does this Apply to Knowledge?

A Map Is Only Useful if It Simplifies Things. To What Extent Does this Apply to Knowledge?

Length: 1200 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“A map is only useful if it simplifies things.” To what extent does this apply to knowledge?”
The title of this essay claims that the usefulness of a map in knowledge is limited to its ability to simplify things. Before I discuss this, it is important to look at the key words used in phrasing the claim.
A map can be defined as a clear representation of any physical space or a place in existence. “The area depicted on maps can range from the entire world to just a neighborhood, and most maps are depicted on a flat two-dimensional plane. The purpose of a map is to describe spatial relationships of specific features that the cartographer or mapmaker chooses to represent.” (James Ford Bell Library) In using this analogy, the title, I believe, is referring to the models and representations in various areas of knowledge and not a cartographical map per se. Simplicity is the state of being simple and uncomplicated. It is widely held that the most effective knowledge is the simplest and the most straightforward, both to explain and to use, although this is not always the case. According to Ramm,simplicity embraces exactly the right details, the right difficulties, the right complexity, but because everything is tied together in the right way, you are left with a sense of clarity, and a sense that everything belongs exactly where it is. Simplicity is achieved when everything means something. (Ramm) Here it is seen that in the acquisition of knowledge, simpliticy is a good thing, ergo if a map is simplified, it must be good and useful.

The claim being discussed here is that the only way a map or a way of representing things can be useful is if it simplifies the knowledge that the actual territory gives, that is, if it reduces the salient i...


... middle of paper ...


...n more useful when it is simplified because it points you in the right direction so that you can fill in the details as you acquire more knowledge yourself. Its predictive power also enable us form hypothesis in the sciences that can be confirmed or disproved after experimentation. Simplification tends to explain things better and even help us to predict what ought to be. On the other hand it can be argued that these simplifications also leave out important details and may not be that useful in the long run .



Works Cited


Duck. The Duck Of Mind. 14 December 2012. Web Page. 9 April 2014.
IB Diploma Educators and Students. theory of knowledge.net. 12 january 2014. webpage. 30 april 2014.
James Ford Bell Library. University of Minnesota Driven to Disover. 5 january 2010. web page. 30 April 2014.
Ramm, Mark. Compund Thinking . 31 May 2006. Webpage. 30 April 2014.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

To What Extent Was Stalingrad Was Not Only Noteworthy As It Was A Turning Point Of The World War?

- Military historians have described Stalingrad was not only noteworthy as it was a turning point of the Germany’s invasion on Eastern Front and even of the entire Second World War. The ultimate defeat of Germany in Stalingrad was resulted from Hitler’s military misjudgment and indecisiveness in setting single operational objectives, which paralyzed the whole German forces and turning the tide of war in the Russians’ favor. The initial missions of the offensive in 1942 were the advances of forces to cut off the west bank of Volga River, which served as the important link for the transport of Soviet oil supply from the Transcaucasus oil fields to the Red Armies in Central Russia....   [tags: World War II, Adolf Hitler, Wehrmacht]

Strong Essays
1015 words (2.9 pages)

Countries that Apply The Death Penalty Essay

- The freedom to live Up to today, 36 countries apply the death penalty, also called the capital punishment. It is the irredeemable approval of the government to take the lives of people who have done irreparable crimes. In other words, it means that people are taking away the lives of other people in order to punish them for having done extreme actions. But the death penalty does not castigate a convicted person who has done something extremely bad for example like murdering someone; rather it frees the person from his/her misery and does not allow him/her to live with a guilt he/she is going to carry with him/her during his/her entire lifetime....   [tags: crime, human rights, god]

Strong Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis of the Article Only Child Lonely or Selfish? by Laudren Sandler

- In this review, I will discuss an article “Only child – Lonely or selfish?” (2013) by Laudren Sandler. Because considering of the human impact on a fragile environment, limiting family size makes sense now more than ever, this article is an affirmation of what so many families see as a quite reasonable path. It’s also an interesting article for people as an only child and others’ perception of the only child. I shall agree with the author that the classic negative stereotypes of only children being spoiled rotten and selfish are usually untrue simply because of many different reasons and circumstances....   [tags: family, only, child, sterotype]

Strong Essays
629 words (1.8 pages)

Life in the Middle Ages Depicted in the Book "A World Lit Only by Fire" Essay

- The beginning of the middle ages were tough. Liceracy was openly ignored and only one out of every 100 murderers were brought to justice. Even your average game of football could lead to someone’s burial. Even though some deaths were accidental, most were done intentionally. The punishment for most crimes was death. Even if a person lived a healthy life and didn’t commit any crimes they would only live to the age of 30. Men might make it to forty or even 50 but then would look like men who are 80 years old today....   [tags: a world lit only by fire]

Strong Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

The Extent Of Equality And Social Class Essay

- Citizenship is being a part of a community in which all members have rights and obligations (Fleury, 2010). T.H Marshall in his 1949 lecture ‘citizenship and social class’ suggested that all citizens of a welfare state would have equal social status, being able to fully participate in the market economy, democracy and overall society (Dean & Melrose, 1999). When I think of my experiences of living in multiple welfare states (the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands), I never felt that every citizen had equal opportunities, there were always those who were excluded society....   [tags: Sociology, Social class, Law, Denmark]

Strong Essays
1090 words (3.1 pages)

Trapped By Society: I Only Came to Use the Phone Essay

- Do you ever feel trapped when you are in a place that you have never been before. Isolation criticizes society since it does not let everyone be equal or have the same rights. Isolation can completely change a person, and it is usually for the worst. Society “acts” like they try to prevent isolation, but in reality they isolate people for certain reasons, then those people get judged for being “different.” Upon closer inspection it is human nature to deny equal rights because people that do not act, dress, or look the same are labeled as strange, and unfortunately, many times are not accepted by the majority of society....   [tags: analysis, I only came to use the phone]

Strong Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

Role of Women in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit Essay

- Role of Women in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit   In the novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson, most of the important, decision-making, characters are female. Jeanette, the female protagonist, is greatly influenced by her mother, a strong, overbearing, eccentric woman, and by Elsie, a prominent member of the family parish who becomes Jeanette's only friend and closest confidant. Elsie and Jeanette's mother act as polar forces in Jeanette's life, with the mother encouraging suppression of "unholy" or "unnatural" feelings and thoughts, and Elsie encouraging expression of feelings and accepting oneself for who one really is....   [tags: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit Essays]

Strong Essays
610 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Differences in Being an Only Child and Having Siblings

- Differences in Being an Only Child and Having Siblings I want this and I want that is all you here from an only child. There are many differences between an only child and a child who has siblings. My friend is an only child and there are many differences in the way we act. She always thinks of herself first, but that is not a bad thing. Many of these differences are a result of being an only child. First of all, an only child is much more demanding than a child that has siblings. The only child wants to have things done right away....   [tags: Only Children Siblings Character Essays]

Strong Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

Aesthetic Response to Only Justice Can Stop a Curse Essay

- Aesthetic Response to Only Justice Can Stop a Curse Reflecting back on the piece that I have just read, I can only think of the extremity of desperation that the two authors were going through to make them feel the way that they did: that suicide would possibly be better than living in a "white man's world". If these powerful documents were not enough to let people come to the realization of how bad African-Americans had it (and still do to a degree) then I do not know what could possibly be more convincing....   [tags: Only Justice Can Stop a Curse Essays]

Free Essays
464 words (1.3 pages)

James Herriot’s If Only They Could Talk Essays

- James Herriot’s If Only They Could Talk In James Herriot’s autobiographical book, If Only They Could Talk, we see that Herriot has many strong characteristics which help him through his tough, and oftentimes demanding, career. He has a vast knowledge of his practice, as well as his employer and friend, Seigfried Farnon. Herriot has a great sense of humour, and is able to take embarrassment excellently. He also works well in strange, or uncomfortable situations. One of his strong character traits is his adaptability, he is very flexible with his customers, and adapts to their lifestyles....   [tags: James Herriot Only They Could Talk Essays]

Strong Essays
1203 words (3.4 pages)