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. What was it about armies that Wilson was struck by?
(a) How they were organized.
(b) How they were supported by an entire society.
(c) How they were close brotherhoods.
(d) How they were subsidized by communities or nations.

2. Why does Wilson take up the example of dreams?
(a) To show that Freud's unscientific methods make his assumptions wrong.
(b) To demonstrate the correct way to analyze brain chemicals.
(c) To demonstrate man's different ways of knowing.
(d) To show that Freud discovered things he didn't understand himself.

3. Where do the images of snakes in dreams likely come from, in Wilson's account?
(a) The mystic significance of snakes.
(b) A widespread fear of snakes.
(c) The Bible story of the garden of Eden.
(d) The intuition of subterranean experience.

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

5. What can biological research do for complexity theory, in Wilson's account?
(a) Demonstrate how many variables influence a cell's functioning.
(b) Demonstrate how the cell has adapted to the numerous variables that influence its functions.
(c) Demonstrate how the cell is a unified organism.
(d) Demonstrate how layers of complexity interact.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Wilson say declined as people started to live longer in the nineteenth century?

2. Who influenced Wilson's idea of unified learning?

3. What benefit does Wilson say consilience has?

4. What do the laws of physics transcend, in Wilson's account?

5. How many genes does the brain consist of?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the modern understanding of dreams?

3. What is the relationship between complexity theory and consilience?

4. How would you describe Wilson's relationship with religion?

5. What does Wilson offer as an alternative to scientific knowledge and consilience?

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

7. How has postmodernism affected Wilson's consilience?

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

9. How is Wilson's theory a consequence of evolutionary theory?

10. How does Wilson describe the mindset necessary to be a scientist?

(see the answer keys)

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