Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How has the postmodern fragmentation of knowledge affected consilience, in Wilson's account??
(a) It has not been useful.
(b) It has created the conditions for unification.
(c) It has generated unprecedented discussions between disciplines.
(d) It has opened new fields.

2. What qualities of mind drove the techno-scientific age?
(a) Justice and equality.
(b) Curiosity and creativity.
(c) Compassion and empathy.
(d) Mathematics and industrialism.

3. What does temporal-lobe epilepsy cause?
(a) Hyper-religiosity.
(b) Tourette's syndrome.
(c) Narcolepsy.
(d) Catatonia.

4. Whose ideas influenced the formation of the French slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"?
(a) de Sade.
(b) Condorcet.
(c) Rousseau.
(d) Locke.

5. What is Wilson ultimately interested in producing with consilience?
(a) Freedom.
(b) Order.
(c) Efficiency.
(d) Opportunity.

6. What is consilience?
(a) An agreed approach to different subjects.
(b) An underlying pattern that tends toward unification.
(c) A historical basis for unifying fields of study.
(d) A proposal for reorganizing departments of knowledge.

7. How did Locke distinguish between culture and history?
(a) Culture fostered the passions, history fostered reason.
(b) Culture followed laws, history evolved.
(c) Culture was chaotic, history was self-organizing.
(d) Culture was built forward, history was built backward.

8. How much does the human brain weigh on average?
(a) Three pounds.
(b) Four pounds.
(c) Five pounds.
(d) Two pounds.

9. What purpose does Wilson say dreams serve?
(a) Telling the conscious self about the doings of its unconscious.
(b) Improving responses relevant to survival.
(c) Giving the self access to the collective unconscious.
(d) Developing the soul through cathexes.

10. Where did Wilson develop the idea of unified learning?
(a) During his childhood.
(b) In his writings on religion.
(c) During his science studies.
(d) In his research on ants.

11. According to complexity theory, what is the result of living on the edge of chaos?
(a) Evolution.
(b) Escalation.
(c) Experimentation.
(d) Extinction.

12. What does Wilson say the standards that measure scientific knowledge should be based on?
(a) Theories.
(b) Hypotheses.
(c) Mathematics.
(d) Something real.

13. The idea that water was the unifying medium for all nature is the center of which philosophical view?
(a) Mysticism.
(b) Idealism.
(c) Science.
(d) Materialism.

14. What do the laws of physics transcend, in Wilson's account?
(a) Languages.
(b) Cultures.
(c) Mythologies.
(d) Galaxies.

15. Under what circumstances are theories accepted universally?
(a) When experimental data can be confirmed.
(b) When a theory promises to explain phenomena.
(c) When evidence is supported by interlocking theories.
(d) When a hypothesis explains phenomena.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Wilson say that humans are incapable of seeing?

2. What subject would Wilson like to see more of in undergraduate education?

3. What philosophical assumption underlay the notion that evolution followed simple laws?

4. What does science seek, in Wilson's account?

5. How does Wilson characterize the relationship between consilience and the material world?

(see the answer keys)

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