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Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by…

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998)

by Edward O. Wilson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,127214,577 (3.86)30
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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Quando si dice "Il piacere di leggere su "GoodReads": prendi un libro cartaceo dallo scaffale della libreria o biblioteca, lo sfogli, lo giri e lo rigiri tra le mani, scorri la presentazione, i capitoli, vedi l'indice, inizi la lettura, cerchi di sapere chi è l'autore, di cosa parla, quando è stato concepito, dove si colloca all'interno della tua cultura, vai alla ricerca del perchè è stato scritto. Lo tieni per parecchi giorni sul tuo comodino, te lo porti dietro leggendolo quando puoi, prendi qualche appunto, annoti qualche concetto che merita di essere approfondito, se ti riesce ne parli con qualcuno che ti può comprendere, certamente non al bar o in treno, nè tantomeno in qualche forum in rete. Ti accorgi che il libro mira a farti capire che tutto quello che pensi, la realtà che tu vivi, le discipline che tu credi di sapere, di conoscere e che credi di avere studiato, sono riconducibili soltanto ad una. Quando hai fatto questo percorso "cartaceo" per così dire, vai online, entri su "GoodReads" e lo cerchi. Scopri la sua presenza e inizi a leggere tutti i commenti che altri lettori hanno scritto negli anni. Scopri così che tutti hanno già scritto quello che tu credi aver pensato e di poter dire su di esso. Da una sola stellina a cinque stelle, il minimo e il massimo che si possa dare ad un libro che cerca di formalizzare la parola che dà il titolo al libro stesso: realizzare l'unità del sapere, unificare tutte le scienze: "consilience" appunto. Un sogno, una utopia, una realtà, una fantasia, una possibilità, una novità, una sfida, una ingenuità, una offesa? Tutto questo o niente di tutto questo. Indubbiamente questo libro è una provocazione che l'autore ha fatto a se stesso e a tutti i suoi lettori. Anche a chi non lo conosce e a chi non leggerà mai il suo libro. Per me merita le cnque stelle! ( )
  AntonioGallo | Nov 2, 2017 |
This was an important book that I'm glad I read. The prose could have been cleaner, which would have made the dense content more accessible. ( )
  StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
Remarkably crappy. ( )
  johnclaydon | Oct 18, 2016 |
Oops.  Started reading, found I was nodding my head... yup, not only do I already agree with the theme of the book, but I've heard enough of the argument before, and besides the book was written going on two decades ago.  Oh well.  There are other fish in the pond...
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Didn't impress me; read it too long ago to note details here. ( )
  librisissimo | Sep 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edward O. Wilsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Badal, YvonneÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caglero, RobetoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Wilde, BarbaraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ros, JoandomenechTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thus have I made as it were a small globe of the intellectual world, as truly and faithfully as I could discover.

--Francis Bacon (1605)
First words
I remember very well the first time I was captured by the dream of unified learning.
In his 1941 classic Man on His Nature, the British neurobiologist Charles Sherrington spoke of the brain as an enchanted loom, perpetually weaving a picture of the external world, tearing down and reweaving, inventing other worlds, creating a miniature universe. The communal mind of literate societies – world culture – is an immensely larger loom. (Chap. 2, “The Great Branches of Learning”)
[L]et us begin by simply walking away from Foucault and existential despair […] it's not so bad. Once we get over the shock of discovering that the universe was not made with us in mind [...] (Chap. 3, “The Enlightenment”)
Scientific theories, however, are fundamentally different. They are constructed specifically to be blown apart if proved wrong, and if so destined, the sooner the better. “Make your mistakes quickly” is a rule in the practice of science. I grant that scientist often fall in love with their own constructions. I know; I have. They may spend a lifetime trying to shore them up. A few squander their prestige and academic political capital in the effort. In that case – as the economist Paul Samuelson once quipped – funeral by funeral, theory advances. (Chap.4 “The Natural Sciences”)
Science, to be its warrant as concisely as possible, is the organized, systematic enterprise that gathers knowledge about the world and condenses the knowledge into testable laws and principles. (Chap.4 “The Natural Sciences”)
Someone has defined insanity as an inability to choose among false alternatives. In dreams we are insane. We wander across our limitless dreamscapes as madmen. (Chap.5 “Ariadne's Thread”)
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La grande avventura intellettuale dell'uomo e la possibilità di tornare all'idea affascinante dell'unità della conoscenza sono l'argomento del libro. L'autore spiega le ragioni del suo veemente antirelativismo e la necessità di abbattere la gerarchizzazione accademica di arti e scienze, individuando un piccolo numero di leggi naturali fondamentali che reggono di fatto ogni ramo della scienza.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067976867X, Paperback)

The biologist Edward O. Wilson is a rare scientist: having over a long career made signal contributions to population genetics, evolutionary biology, entomology, and ethology, he has also steeped himself in philosophy, the humanities, and the social sciences. The result of his lifelong, wide-ranging investigations is Consilience (the word means "a jumping together," in this case of the many branches of human knowledge), a wonderfully broad study that encourages scholars to bridge the many gaps that yawn between and within the cultures of science and the arts. No such gaps should exist, Wilson maintains, for the sciences, humanities, and arts have a common goal: to give understanding a purpose, to lend to us all "a conviction, far deeper than a mere working proposition, that the world is orderly and can be explained by a small number of natural laws." In making his synthetic argument, Wilson examines the ways (rightly and wrongly) in which science is done, puzzles over the postmodernist debates now sweeping academia, and proposes thought-provoking ideas about religion and human nature. He turns to the great evolutionary biologists and the scholars of the Enlightenment for case studies of science properly conducted, considers the life cycles of ants and mountain lions, and presses, again and again, for rigor and vigor to be brought to bear on our search for meaning. The time is right, he suggests, for us to understand more fully that quest for knowledge, for "Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us.... Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become." Wilson's wisdom, eloquently expressed in the pages of this grand and lively summing-up, will be of much help in that search.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Biologist Wilson, considered to be one of the world's greatest living scientists, argues for the fundamental unity of all knowledge, that everything in our world is organized in terms of a small number of fundamental natural laws. Wilson, the pioneer of sociobiology and biodiversity, now once again breaks out of the conventions of current thinking. 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--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. Drawing on the physical sciences and biology, anthropology, psychology, religion, philosophy, and the arts, Professor Wilson shows why the goals of the original Enlightenment are reappearing on the frontiers of science and humanistic scholarship.--From publisher description.… (more)

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