The process of coupling two sets in a one-one correspondence.
St. BEER gives the very simple example of creating such a one-one correspondence between the 26 letters of the alphabet and the numbers 1 to 26 (1968, p.107).
While purely abstract mapping may be isomorphic, when we try to model concrete systems, "… in practice the mapping will be homomorphic – able to preserve some structure, but committed to losing some information. Thus our account of nature is 'true', but defective, and our account of such characteristics of nature as causation and law will change with the linguistic mapping we choose" (p.121).
Any model we do construct of any part of our universe is in some sense a mapping, and necessarily a merely homomorphic one, and: "The variety of the image system obtained with a homomorphic mapping is, of course, smaller than the original one" (R. VALLÉE, 1993b, p.75). It is essential for our conceptual (and possibly even mental) sanity to understand this and consequently, to relativize our knowledge.
Mappings are useful for the exploration of the interconnections and eventual transformations of the contents of the set of the interrelated items.
- 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]
We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: