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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None of this is to suggest that philosophy is a waste of time. As Wilson explains, mental phenomena pose two essentially different challenges, the so-called easy and hard problems of consciousness. Overall, I disagreed but found the book interesting and thought-provoking, at least in certain ways. I grew up as Quaker, and although unlike many American Quakers but like all English Quakers my faith was Christological, when it fell away, or rather slipped silently away, I felt no need or urge ever to adopt another religion, spiritual or secular.

Indeed maybe there are hosts of problems that lie beyond our intellectual grasp. One ought to promote evolution: Such reverie no doubt dulled my critical faculties, although I will still attempt to outline some areas of disagreement between Wilson and myself.

When Wilson “predicts,” for example, that ethical phenomena will also turn out to be neural, it’s unclear what interesting conclusion he thinks follows from this fact. Shit, I thought that had come such a long way from digging Plato’s cave allegory. As freshmen, we were charged in the inaugural lecture welcoming the class of to answer the question posed in the Psalms, “What is man that thou art mindful of him? This would appear to be very different from the metaphysical thesis that all the facts supervene on the facts of basic science.

That in my opinion is the whole story. The biological states are reducible to more complex explanations in chemistry, and all of the chemical explanations are themselves reducible into more complicated statements couched in the language of physics.

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Consilience (book) – Wikipedia

Contents The Ionian Enchantment. He shows how and why our explosive rise in intellectual mastery of the truths of our universe has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos and the human species–a vision that found its apogee in the Age of Enlightenment, then gradually was lost in the increasing fragmentation and specialization of knowledge in the last two centuries.

He has built up to this point, and you know there are no simple answers. This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. Culture helps to determine which of the prescribing genes survive and multiply from one generation to the next.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. The most mind-blowing part of the whole book for me was his dismissal with a “it’s wislon so bad” of Michel Foucault’s analyses of the diffuse consiliene of power and its evolution in the west. As a science fan, I really enjoyed his clear-eyed appraisal of why science has been successful in doing what it does, but even a more poetically-inclined person will like his appreciation for the arts, his elegant writing, and his graceful and generous demeanor.

The New Enlightenment

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. At the opposite extreme, in a chaotic system such as boiling liquid, there is very little order to change. Wilson has never been afraid of thinking big. The case for a bottom-up ontology is good enough, even as it stands, to warrant thinking hard about what it means to us if that turns out to be the sort of world we live in. Science is the characteristic product of our culture. But to read Jesus in this way is to miss the great strength of the Gospels.

The fact that twentieth-century art has been virtually defined by the rise of styles that people at first hated doesn’t seem to bother him. Wilosn accomplished scientist and human nature theorist E. Much of Wilson’s book consists of such superficially attractive–but ultimately just superficial-philosophical talk. First, there was the review of Iwlson in Science: If my actions are entirely without cause, then I can hardly be held responsible for them.


The leash connecting culture to biology to use one of Wilson’s favorite images may well be real, but it gets stretched so thin that it’s often just not worth worrying about. When I started working at the ole’ bookstore, I was more than ready to become this conslience, autodidactic intellectual. As McGinn explains, there’s nothing objectively mysterious much less mystical about phenomena to which we are cognitively closed. We have therefore no reason whatever for believing that we, Homo cknsiliencehave arrived at some acme of cognitive evolution, that our chimpish brains are the best that brains can be.

Maybe it’s a sign of aging, but I’ve have a hard time mustering up the energy to read a really long, dense philosophical text in recent years. Wilsonin which the author discusses methods that have been used to unite the sciences and might in the future unite them with the humanities.

Review of E.O. Wilson’s “Consilience”

Wilson was wioson in Birmingham, Alabama in Anyway, that’s what I read, back when I gave a shit. The book is dense with ideas and requires more than one reading as well as an exploration of at least some of the references in the excellent notes in order to get the full benefits of Wilson’s work.

Wilson uses the term consilience to describe the synthesis of knowledge from different specialized fields of human endeavor. To the extent that we banish the rest of life, we will impoverish our own species for all time.

The Unity of Knowledge is an eloquent explication of the ideas and dispositions I hold in highest regard. To see this, consider one of the most famous of evolutionary arguments, Fisher’s theory of why most species have equal numbers of males and females 2. Open Preview See a Problem? The alternative–boundless percipience–seems downright unbiological.