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...
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...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 .
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.
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