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. Wilson was excoriated for his knowledge claims, for his logic, for his intentions, and for his conclusions. Consilience was truly judged to be a. “A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them.” –The Wall Street Journal One of our greatest.

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Physics determines chemistry; chemistry determines biology; biology determines brain science; and brain science determines my neuroses, my fondness for Wagner and the rest of my mental life.

And of Wilson the man. I attempted to pontificate on Kant’s categorical imperative, on Derrida’s notion of differenceand Nietzsche’s call for philosophers to philosophize with a hammer. He may well be as versed in 18th century French history or the contemporary novel as he is in science, but if so this book does not establish it.

Scientists are in the business of finding powerful explanations. Wilson is one of my heroes. He tries wileon less than proposing to bring not only the sciences but humanities under a single umbrella.

I’ll often just choose a novel instead because it’s a way of reminding myself that this is the reading that I set aside for emotional escapism. At the very least, he presents a useful target for the philosopher who wants to defend his subject from the attacks of reductionism and scientism. But human thought depends on the human brain, which belongs to the realm of biology. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

Review of E.O. Wilson’s “Consilience”

But in other places he suggests that science will help tell us why painting A is better than painting B–a traditionally artsy enterprise. Some observers think his writing is meant as jeu d’espirita kind of joke. This is consilience in the strict sense consiliemce “unity of knowledge.

The last of these is dependent on the concept that there is no universal truth or universal morality which humans can search for. At each stage, Wilson highlights connections linking higher levels to lower: Wilson on art and edification: The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O.

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The case for a bottom-up ontology is good enough, even as it stands, conailience warrant thinking hard about what it means to us if that turns out to be the sort of world we live in. We’d all agree that if dogs could speak they’d lack color words.

Book Review: “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge,” Edward O. Wilson

I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t get everything right, but he gets enough right to spur us to consider what we know and how we treat the precious planet that serves as the environment that gave rise to us, human beings capable of understanding so much of this miracle of existence. Apr 29, Keith Swenson rated it it was amazing. If this is the stuff of consilience, we can hardly expect art critics to flock to biology summer school.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This is what it all means. Wilson provides superb overviews of Western intellectual history and the current state of understanding in many academic disciplines.

Our fragmented intellectual landscape will meld into a single beautiful body of knowledge. He also understands that a consilient science cannot repeat this failure. Rips Limited preview – People interested in Big Questions. Natural science may understand, to an extent, the genetic basis of “bricks” of human nature, but it currently says little about the societal structures that we have built with them, and his near complete neglect of social science in this regard is stunning.

Any attempt to map the range of humanities onto the domain of science inevitably runs through and up against the mind. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. Indeed, I myself can find places where I get really rather tense. There is a fight to be fought between good and evil and we will all be tested. And believe me folks, it’s bullshit. Indeed I believe Consilience suffers from two classes of problems, one fairly general and the other specific.


He lays out a powerful idea that deserves to be wre E.

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

Ambiguity also haunts Wilson’s description of the connsilience of consilience, especially the relationship between art and science. Jan 07, Miles rated it really liked it. May 24, Frederick rated it liked it.

If you are a believer in strength, then you get mad at the way that Jesus promotes pacifism. Not so Professor Wilson. Science is the practice of reductionism. Actually, he seems to have a wilso ear for this sort of stuff; what he says about art, religion and ethics is often embarrassing.

In the same way, modern economics models human agents in terms of simplistic folk psychology, assumptions about “rational decision-making” that have little to do with the way people actually think.

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 fonsilience dealing with the brain sciences and those concerning the environment in the final chapter.

Oct 30, Carlex rated it really liked it Shelves: When I started working at the ole’ bookstore, I was more than ready to become this self-styled, autodidactic intellectual. A must-read for big picture thinkers who understand science. Of course the higher level always presents emergent phenomena that hardly even seem to make sense at the lower level you don’t discuss software bugs in terms of the motion of electrons.

And now, several books, two Pulitzer Prizes and one National Medal of Science later, Consiliencehis most ambitious work yet. After all, emergent phenomena–if real–change everything. Wilson “The Diversity of Life”, an impressive work that among other issues announces the sixth great extinction caused by human activity previously of the Elizabeth Kolbert’s best known book.

Oxford Wilsson Press,