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

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. When was Condorcet born?
(a) 1789.
(b) 1743.
(c) 1752.
(d) 1776.

2. How can scientists monitor the working brain, in Wilson's account?
(a) In limited experiments.
(b) In behavior.
(c) In real-time analysis.
(d) In snapshots.

3. What did Descartes argue for, in Wilson's account?
(a) The separation of mind and matter.
(b) The integration of historical will and individual will.
(c) Universal peace.
(d) The unification knowledge.

4. Why does Wilson say that the concept of evolutionary progress is not easily defined?
(a) Because the historical record is unclear, and because the present moment is still chaotic.
(b) Because it is impossible to predict what conditions will be, and how they will require adaptation.
(c) Because the goal of evolution is clear to individuals but not to the race as a whole.
(d) Because evolution does not have a goal.

5. How does Wilson explain the ideal scientist's work ethic?
(a) Think like poets, work like bookkeepers.
(b) Think like eagles, work like ants.
(c) Think like whales, work like minnows.
(d) Think like children, work like fathers.

Short Answer Questions

1. What accomplishment does Wilson say Einstein strove for in his work?

2. According to complexity theory, what is the result of living on the edge of chaos?

3. How does Wilson characterize the current state of knowledge?

4. What are the nerve cells in the brain called?

5. What is reductionism?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does E.O. Wilson mean by the Ionian Enchantment?

2. How does consilience aim to resolve political problems?

3. How does Wilson offer the physical sciences as a metaphor for consilience?

4. What justification does Wilson provide for integrating philosophy with biology, social science and the humanities?

5. How would you describe John Locke's influence on Wilson's idea of consilience?

6. What does consilience provide as an educational policy?

7. What ancient sources does Wilson trace consilience back to?

8. How has postmodernism affected Wilson's consilience?

9. How did Wilson arrive at his theory of consilience?

10. How would you describe Rousseau's influence on Wilson's idea of consilience?

(see the answer keys)

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