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. What consequence does Wilson describe to technological advancement?

2. What were the first artistic images of animals intended to evoke, according to Wilson?

3. What does the concept of God do, in Edmund Wilson's account?

4. How does postmodern influence portray existence?

5. What are effective ethical codes based on?

Short Essay Questions

1. What role does Wilson say creativity has in survival and evolution?

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

3. What does Wilson say the liberal arts should address?

4. How does postmodern art resist consilience, in E.O. Wilson's account?

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

6. How do social factors influence genetic distribution?

7. How do patterns in mental development connect genes to culture?

8. What are the two branches of anthropology Wilson describes, and what question does he say they both fail to answer?

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

10. What is the sign, in EO Wilson's account, that culture is evolving?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are the reasons that the sciences have resisted the urge to unification expressed in consilience? How are the sciences organized like trades, and how have individuals staked claims on funding or authority that would prevent consilience?

Essay Topic 2

Wilson's book begins and ends with a call for better efficiency and use of knowledge in solving problems. To what extent is consilience really Wilson's response to the dangers of industrial modernism? Is consilience really about knowledge and disciplines, or is it about clearing the way for scientists to contribute their experience to solving problems?

Essay Topic 3

Where does the sense of proof reside in the body, or in experience? That is, how can a person tell the difference between a rational proof and a faulty proof, a faith-based proof or an irrational proof? If proof can be a final and complete experience, how does it distinguish between its sources? If proof is a temporary feeling that has to be reasserted--if it is a story that has to be retold again and again to be 'believed'--how does it account for the rest of experience, which tends to be chaotic and inscrutable, rather than clear and linear and rational?

(see the answer keys)

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