Talk:Mistaking the map for the territory

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Map urban legend?[edit]

There is a story that Germany in WWI declared war on the US because both countries occupied one page each in an atlas so there was a misperception that they were the same size. Whether true or an urban legend, suits the article. (talk) 16:44, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

For the record: in World War I, the US declared war on Germany, not the other way around. Kimberly (talk) 21:22, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

It's fun![edit]

It's fun to begin with a really good, but not perfect, analogy and try to get everything to work. I'm doing this right now with Once Upon a Time... Life: the red corpuscles walk in the bloodstream, and although they travel at a "walking speed" (1/2 mile to 4 miles an hour), the fact that it's a seven-micron-high entity, rather than a seven-foot-high entity, makes a differences. Trying to scale everything to get it to work is really fun and informative. I want to take what's good and make it even better. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 17:35, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

What on earth are you on about? Sophiebecause liberals 19:18, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm struggling to translate it into English. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 19:45, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
The fact blood cells aren't seven feet high makes a difference? No, really? If I had seven-foot-high entities walking around my veins & arteries, I must say that I would find it most uncomfortable. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:31, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

A fallacy?[edit]

Should it be called a fallacy or a cognitive error? "Fallacies" is usually applied to things done by the opposing site in a debate, but this is more of a tripping stone of the mind.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:02, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

You're assuming that it can be unintentional, but if it's intentional and used as part of a debate (see wingnut pushing their sides by saying that theoretical predictions be interpreted literally) , then it should be a fallacy. LEFTYGREENMARIO 18:07, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
It does not matter if something is used in a debate as to whether or not it is a fallacy, a fallacy can be any kind of belief derived from bad logic. Nullahnung (talk) 18:10, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh yeah, that too. And this since one is from bad logic intentional or not, it does qualify as a fallacy. But it is used in debates, so even by going with your definition, it's still a fallacy. LEFTYGREENMARIO 18:12, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't "fallacy" mean "a thing that is false"? Wouldn't any instance of "mistaking" automatically qualify? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:19, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Both wiktionary and the OED mention connotations of deceit and sophistry, or specious argument. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:30, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


Some content from and FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 22:50, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

There's more to this underrated maxim[edit]

See hereWikipedia's W.svg (for starters). "Mistaking the map for the territory" is a most useful concept, indeed. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:41, 25 April 2017 (UTC)


I'm not sure this is an example of what the article is talking about. It's certainly a case of somewhat confusing one thing with another - but not "the map for the territory".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:04, 2 February 2018 (UTC)


"Mistaking the map for the territory is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone confuses the semantics of a term with what it represents. A similar term is "reification", where abstractions are taken to be a real thing."

Both the definition cited at the end of this sentence and the general definition of 'reification' as far as I am aware make specific reference to the idea of producing external realities on the basis of initially or generallly false beliefs. (ie: A widespread faith in the intrinsic value of a ticket of generalized exchange value 'reifies' it into a desired commodity that can then be exchanged for other materials as if it had the kind of intrinsic value those observing it are attributing to it.) This is notably different from the relevant concept of mistaking semantic labels for actual instances of what they refer to, not to mention rather misrepresented by the summarizing sentence above. I'm thinking it should be removed?

--King Curtis Kong (talk) 18:05, 7 November 2019 (UTC)