Consilience has ratings and reviews. Manny said: At first, I wasn’t sure I liked Consilience. E.O. Wilson is frank about his disdain for philos. “A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them.” –The Wall Street Journal One of our greatest. Wilson was excoriated for his knowledge claims, for his logic, for his intentions, and for his conclusions. Consilience was truly judged to be a.
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But most of the book is given over to a link-by-link look at the chain of consilience: An organism that’s six feet tall is unlikely to build cathedrals that are six inches tall. I just cannot accept Jesus as my Savior. To say that the review was negative would give negativity a bad name: They feel that Wilson has given much to their consikience, and that this is a book which is the culmination of his gifts to others.
Wilson, considered to be one of the world’s greatest living scientists, argues for the fundamental unity of all knowledge and the need to search for consilience–the proof that everything in our world Refute Wilson, and you’ll find most of the other guys easy. Wilson wraps up this section with a detour into how this futuristic mind script might resemble Chinese calligraphy complete with a quote from a Sinologist.
Wilson made his name in ants, as a rock star entomologist who made seminal contributions to the understanding of one of the most successful species of all time. Some information is dated, as this book is now 17 years old, but most of the information is still incredibly relevant and many of Wilson’s predictions for the coming years have rang true, particularly those in the chapter dealing wit A beautiful journey through human knowledge by one of the greatest scientists of our time.
The hard problem is much harder: If mankind consiliwnce drown before reaching the shores of understanding, at least Wilson’s passionate appeal will have encouraged us to swim in the right direction.
The New Enlightenment
Even the humanities will “draw closer to the sciences and partly fuse with them.
Review of E.O. Wilson’s “Consilience”
The one exception involves his deft demolition of postmodernist nonsense. The fact that our eyes convert continuous wavelengths into fairly discrete colors is an interesting piece of biology, but the fact that this affects how we describe the world seems a bit obvious.
It’s hard to do. Reason will be advanced to new levels, and emotions played in potentially infinite patterns. I recommend this book, as the idea of consilience is one that I find myself backing and there is a lot of good information in this book, but if reading the full book is not easily feasible, I recommend the final chapter definitely.
The fact that there are certain universal behaviors among all conislience and peoples lends support to this view. Cpnsilience is also surprisingly vague about the methods vonsilience lead to consilience.
If this is the stuff of consilience, we can hardly expect art critics consiliencd flock to biology summer school. Although Wilson seems to think there is a possibility of free will, given sociobiology, he gets it less from the compatibility of laws and freedom, and more from a form of indeterminacy which he sees wileon nature.
Wilson appreciates this, calling consciousness the “master unsolved problem,” labeling the mind “supremely important to the consilience program,” and admitting that science’s failure to “deliver in the domain most crucial to consiliemce promise, the physical basis of mind” spelled the end of Enlightenment optimism.
There is just SO much knowledge out there that individual genius has to dedicate itself to one small area of the cutting edge which has its own specific level of jargon.
The reductionist program has been stunningly effective in all the hard sciences. This is just one aspect of this great book, and a big part of Wilson’s proposal to create a sort of synthesis of the two academic worlds.
The point is that most scientific truths are logically fated to remain un-absolute. When you speak to me, you reveal something about your mental state and I–given the technology in my head–know how to decode it.
W you want to go after the details, you can criticize Jesus in every detail in almost every place. He has built up to this point, and you know there are no simple answers.
There would have to be the same number of planets circling these stars as circle ours; and the same number of moons circling the planets … and so on down to the least significant particles of asteroidal debris. I especially appreciated his retracing the history of the enlightenment and the power of man’s intellect.
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But just because the task is very difficult, there’s no reason to give up and say it’s impossible. To the extent that we depend on prosthetic devices to keep ourselves and the biosphere alive, we will render everything fragile.