MAP (Mental) 2)3)
A mental model we construct, knowingly or not, of some part of the world.
Of course, physical maps, or models, or even a sculpture, are originally mental maps, translated within artifacts.
S. BEER describes a map as: "the pattern of something, represented with much attenuation of variety, but with its significant elements preserved" (1974, p.37).
Still, a map is a kind of metaphor. It corresponds however to a very general type of processes in neural networks, even in animals: We register, interpret and retain experiences that can be retrieved when needed, let us say for instance, finding our way back home. As expressed by M. BODEN: "The map is used to generate an indefinite number of very useful "coulds" and "cannots". She adds this very important observation: "A list of landmarks is less useful: like the parroting of the first seven square numbers, it does not generate any new notions" (1990, p.47).
This means that a good map must include information about interrelations and dynamic interactions similar to G. KLIR's source system.
On a higher level of abstraction: "Theoretical maps help scientists to seek, and find, things never glimpsed before… For example, MENDELEEV's periodic table suggested to 19 Century chemists that unknown elements did exist, corresponding to specific gaps in the table".
However "A new theoretical map may not be universally welcomed, because yet-unseen spaces can be hard to imagine" (p.48).
This explains at least in part the resistance to new paradigms, and specifically to the systemic paradigm.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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