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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Wilson characterize the relationship between ecology and ethics?

2. What methods did Descartes use in his work?

3. What did Descartes argue for, in Wilson's account?

4. What does Wilson mean by the Ionian Enchantment'?

5. How does Wilson describe the strength of the French Revolution?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the modern understanding of how the brain works?

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

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

5. How do anatomical limitations affect our science, in Wilson's account?

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

7. What does consilience provide as an educational policy?

8. How does consilience aim to resolve political problems?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Are 'epi-genetic rules' really just another way of saying complex social factors that have to be experienced individually? Does Wilson really evade the complexity and individuality of experience and sensation and language use?

Essay Topic 2

How does the knowledge that EO Wilson lost sight in one eye in childhood and lost a substantial degree of his sense of hearing in adolescence affect his idea of consilience? How would you relate the physical challenges with the intellectual rigor of the scientist, and the vision of the social theorist?

Essay Topic 3

Is there a contradiction in how Wilson distinguishes between the social sciences and natural sciences, and yet argues for the overlap between all forms of knowledge? Is he saying that branches of knowledge are distinct, or not? Is he saying that all branches of knowledge are linked or not?

(see the answer keys)

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