Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge - The Ionian Enchantment Summary & Analysis

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The Ionian Enchantment Summary and Analysis

Wilson develops the idea of unified learning when gaining insight into nature during his science studies. His view of the classification of species as connected with evolution is influenced by Linnaeus, who classifies animals and species into groups, families, orders and kingdoms. This ordering reminds one of the way armies are organized with platoons, armed services heading armies, and with chiefs of staff at the top.

Evolution allows for perceiving the world in a new way, and changes the classification of animals. Biological classification is based on Systematics and the Origin of Species. Belief in the unity of species that follows certain order along with a few simple laws is in accordance with the speculations of Thales of Miletus in Ionia, who thought that the world has a material basis, wherein all matter consists of water that unifies in this way by nature. The Ionian Enchantment signifies the belief in the unity of species. Such thought subsequently becomes dominant in science. This unification can also span to other sciences and humanities.

Einstein recognizes the unity of complex phenomena in his discoveries, where he tries to unify space with time and motion, and gravity with electromagnetism and cosmology. Other scientists follow. Even though Wilson is born a Southern Baptist, he rejects the literal interpretation of Bible, where he also finds no mention of evolution. He choose to search for objective reality rather than revelation although he does not discard the existence of God. The unification of knowledge may lead to a better understanding of ourselves. This challenge may only be a failed ambition expressed by the ancient Greeks in the myth of Icarus who falls down when flying towards the sun on wings made from feathers and wax that melts in the heat. One of the interpretations of this myth implies that such endeavor represents the daring of human nature, where we are compelled to try how far we can reach.

This section contains 332 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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