Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge Test | Final 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 do widely distributed cultural traits affect genes?

2. What does Edmund Wilson say the arts ultimately create?

3. How much will sea levels theoretically rise if the ice caps melt?

4. What evolution creates culture?

5. What do modern technologies give humans the ability to choose?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the difference between nurturists and hereditarians in describing how culture evolves?

2. What ethical perspective does Wilson call the Transcendental view?

3. What role does the incest taboo have in genetic and cultural development?

4. How does art look through the gene-culture evolution paradigm Wilson offers?

5. What is the purpose of the social sciences, and how does Wilson distinguish the social sciences from the physical social sciences?

6. How do social factors influence genetic distribution?

7. What does Wilson say is the relationship between human genetics and the development of culture?

8. How does Wilson describe the universality of art?

9. What ethical perspective does Wilson call the empiricist view?

10. What threats to contemporary culture does Wilson describe, and how is consilience useful in answering them?

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

The model for scientific work is based on hypothesis and testing, with each discovery creating the need for further testing and further hypotheses and publications--but Wilson describes scientific knowledge as settled and established. Is Wilson overlooking the uncertainty in scientific work and generalizing the results? Does the scientific method itself foster consilience or undermine it?

Essay Topic 3

What is the difference between consilience and wisdom?

(see the answer keys)

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