Comparing Alain De Botton's On Habit And Possible World

analytical Essay
1246 words
1246 words

Are mental map helping people?
In the essay On Habit by Alain de Botton and “Possible World: Why Do Children Pretend?” by Alison Gopnik, both of the author indicate that humans develop mental maps to organize knowledge of location and characteristics of environment to get going experience. Gopnik believes that using mental maps to organize experience help people be efficient because it offers people direct information and solutions. He writes that once people have mental map in their mind they can find shorter and more convenient routes they could have taken. However, de Botton thinks that how people feel when they walk on street is much important than how fast they can be their destination. Mental maps help people amass knowledge, manage information …show more content…

In Gopnik’s essay, she writes about mental map’s function which can tell people the shortest way to everywhere. “Once you have a map, though, you can discover that there were much shorter and more convenient routes you could have taken. The map lets you compare different routes to a place, and lets you discover the most efficient route, without having to actually take each one. You don’t need a printed map to do this” (Gopnik 177). Mental map tells people that what is important and what is less important. People rely on this to make efficient decisions. However, as de Botton states, this kind of efficiency might make people ignore things around them. People look the world in two different ways. One is with traveling mindset; the other is imposing “grid of interest while experiencing”. Imposing a “grid of interest” in looking the world, which has similar function of mental map, is mainly negative. “The power of my primary goal had drained me of the will to reflect on the layout of the park or on the unusual mixture of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture along a single block. My walks along the street had been excised of any attentiveness to beauty, of any associative thoughts, any sense of wonder or gratitude, any philosophical digressions spark by visual elements. And in its place, there was simply an insistent call to reach the Underground posthaste” (de Botton 63) Using mental map to find the shortcut might induce people’s habituation and blindness of beauties. They might never appreciate things around them in the process of walking. They mark several buildings as landmarks but ignore beauties that have never noticed by them before and continuously lose fun within the

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how alain de botton and alison gopnik suggest that mental maps help people organize knowledge of location and characteristics of environment to get going experience.
  • Explains that mental map helps people store knowledge and convert ideas into the procedures needed to achieve.
  • Analyzes how mental map might seclude people from beauties due to pursuit of efficiency.
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