(Space and Place) The map is not the territory
"The map is not the territory" is the second principles of the General Semantics. That means that words are not the things they represent. Some more...:
The scientific problems involved are very extensive and can be dealt with only in a large volume. Here I am able to give only a very sketchy summary without empirical data, omitting niceties and technicalities.
(a) Paris Dresden Warsaw (b) Dresden Paris Warsaw
If we consider an actual territory (a) say, Paris, Dresden, Warsaw, and build up a map (b) in which the order of these cities would be represented as Dresden, Paris, Warsaw; to travel by such a map would be misguiding, wasteful of effort. In case of emergencies, it might be seriously harmful. We could say that such a map was 'not true,' or that the map had a structure not similar to the territory, structure to be defined in terms of relations and multi-dimensional order. We should notice that:
A) A map may have a structure similar or dissimilar to the structure of the territory. (1)
B) Two similar structures have similar 'logical' characteristics. Thus, if in a correct map, Dresden is given as between Paris and Warsaw, a similar relation is found in the actual territory. (2)
C) A map is not the territory. (3)
This statement resonates in my mind from time to time reminding me to focus on immediate personal experiece to know what is real.
D) An ideal map would contain the map of the map, the map of the map of the map, endlessly. This characteristic was first discovered by Royce. We may call it self-reflexiveness. (4)