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Publisher's Summary

One of our greatest living scientists - and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for On Human Nature and The Ants - gives us a work of visionary importance that may be the crowning achievement of his career. In Consilience (a word that originally meant "jumping together"), Edward O. Wilson renews the Enlightenment's search for a unified theory of knowledge in disciplines that range from physics to biology, the social sciences and the humanities.  

Using the natural sciences as his model, Wilson forges dramatic links between fields. He explores the chemistry of the mind and the genetic bases of culture. He postulates the biological principles underlying works of art from cave-drawings to Lolita. Presenting the latest findings in prose of wonderful clarity and oratorical eloquence, and synthesizing it into a dazzling whole, Consilience is science in the path-clearing traditions of Newton, Einstein, and Richard Feynman.

©1999 Edward O. Wilson (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them." (The Wall Street Journal)

 "An original work of synthesis... a program of unrivalled ambition: to unify all the major branches of knowledge—sociology, economics, the arts and religion—under the banner of science." (The New York Times)

 "As elegant in its prose as it is rich in its ideas... a book of immense importance." (Atlanta Journal & Constitution

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A legendary ecologist, via a commanding narrator

Excellent narrator; I don't believe I heard more than two mispronunciations, and these were Latin words. Great voice lends authority to well-developed ideas. Even better imo if listened to at ~1.3x.

Wilson is a polymath and a modern Renaissance man. I can't imagine how much time he spent acquiring his comprehensive knowledge, which spans a wide gamut of very relevant history, literature, arts, ethics, psychology, and the domains of anthropology, all from a grounded and rigorous devotion to science, within a reduction-reintegration framework of synthesis. I cannot imagine that this book didn't make a few waves in the humanities and social sciences. If I have a critique, it's that Wilson was catering to too many audiences simultaneously, and felt compelled to explain perspectives behind known bodies of scientific theory. He was at his best, however, when building freely off of such frameworks, arguing compellingly and eloquently in a tour de force that will be quoted by generations of scientists to come. The very end of the book leaves a lasting impact.

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Surprisingly useful for 20 year old book

Many of the concepts mentioned are now advanced, but the book is a surprisingly useful view into the state of humanities 20 years ago and great indicator of the lack of progress in the 2 decades since. Definitely worth listening to for some interesting ideas, especially if you keep comparing what is said with the current state of affairs.

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A Call For Unity

This book still has the potential to reconcile every area of human knowledge. A source for numerous strands of intellect conversations, it may still do the same for you.