As I walked down the aisle with a handful of Wittgenstein, a customer approached. Sure enough he had a lame excuse for a beard, and deliberately mussed-up hair atop his excessively squinty facial constitution; fucking college kids. As I looked down I saw, of all things, a pristine Black Flag sweatshirt as in, like, not a hoodie. I sigh; one that seems to have echoed in my head for the past month or so as a sort of mechanical reaction to the rich tapestry of assholes and contrived eccentrics that color my retail-working existence.

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He intends to connect all things together, reconciling different fields of study with one another. Adhering to the ancient idea that the universe is governed by order, he believes that there are a few natural laws which can inherently explain everything about the world in which we live.

He goes on to support this theory by appealing to science, art, religion, ethics, and history. To begin with, the Enlightenment period was characterized by a renewed commitment to order. The artists and scientists of this era believed that rationality could explain everything if pursued faithfully and persistently, but they did not possess the scientific knowledge to take their ideas too far.

He does not think that a law discovered in the field of physics for example should be considered credible if that same law is inconsistent in the field of biology. He is looking for unifying laws which apply throughout every field and every mode of thought. Lastly, Wilson devotes some words to ethics. He considers ethics the most basic system in nature which must be understood and applied to all other fields. To Wilson the scientific community is guilty of neglecting ethics in pursuit of information.

In keeping with his earlier claims, Wilson insists that in order for something to be true it must be universally true, so a scientific claim must be in keeping with a particular ethic or else something is wrong. Either the claim or the ethic must be wrong if they do not agree. This idea extends even to the practices of scientists, artists, and thinkers within their work.

They must apply the present understanding of ethics to all of their pursuits in order for their work to be meaningful and accurate. Update this section!

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Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge Summary

Main article: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis Wilson used sociobiology and evolutionary principles to explain the behavior of social insects and then to understand the social behavior of other animals, including humans, thus establishing sociobiology as a new scientific field. He argued that all animal behavior, including that of humans, is the product of heredity , environmental stimuli, and past experiences, and that free will is an illusion. He has referred to the biological basis of behaviour as the "genetic leash". This theory and research proved to be seminal, controversial, and influential. The target of selection is normally the individual who carries an ensemble of genes of certain kinds.


Review of E.O. Wilson’s “Consilience”

Marquis de Condorcet. Francis Bacon. Early advocate of data collection and its analysis as the basis of sound knowledge Baconian method in fields that include social science and the humanities. Believed that the universe is rational and united and that interconnected truths run from physics to biology to moral reasoning. Descartes unified geometry and algebra see: Cartesian coordinate system.


Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge



E. O. Wilson


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