The territory is not the map: place, Deleuze, Guattari, and African philosophy

The title to this paper is an obvious play on words. “The map is not the territory” is a common expression that indicates the limits of representation. It suggests that we can never fully represent or capture the world. Borges imagines a map that is a 1:1 representation of the territory it is supposed to represent. Of course, if we broaden our conception of a map, we can imagine maps that are much larger than the territory: “maps” of subatomic reactions, the genome, and so forth. These map defines the boundaries, internal interactions, and identity of the territory in question. Maps, at least those common in the modern age, start with abstractions, and fit the “territory” into a numerical or conceptual grid. To suggest that the map is not the territory is to recognize that the territory is more than the abstractions of the map.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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