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Fri, Sep. 30th, 2005, 06:27 pm
lil_goat: Hi everyone!

So, here we are... I thought this would be a nice alternative to trying to get together every week, and less pressure to have the material read by a certain time. So let's get started by posting thoughts and questions about Chapters 1 and 2 by say, Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Lindsay

Wed, Oct. 5th, 2005 05:39 am (UTC)
lil_goat

So here's my comment on Chapters one and two:

Having not gone any further in the book yet, they seem like strange introductory chapters that might make more sense once I get further into the book.

Chapter one was sort of Wilson's personal motive for writing the book. He introduced his interest in the physical sciences as a child and his fascination with The Ionian Enchantment, which is essentially consilience.

What interested me in chapter one was the way Wilson played around with religion. He offered up "the search for objective reality over revelation" (p.7) as a substitute for religious traditions.

I do really love the quote on page 7 though- "Let us see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings." What a great call to arms!


In Chapter two, Wilson began to outline his rationale behind unification of knowledge. He said that this unification is necessary because knowledge is scattered and esoteric.

He got into a sort of Neurathian bootstrapping argument in the chapter, where he discussed the idea that you have to have faith in consilience in order to achieve it. (see page11)

He also made the claim that the social sciences and even humanities can be part of the great consilience effort. He said on page 11, "Nothing fundamental separates the course of human history from the course of physical history." I'm a little baffled as to how he's going to bring history into the mix, but I'm ready to hear his arguments!