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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

What listeners say about Consilience

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  • Purchaser
  • 11-11-2018

Very Informative!

I enjoyed this great book about connecting knowledge. Great book and enjoyable listen. Highly recommended!! #Inspiring #SelfDiscovery #Provocative #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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  • The Saint
  • 25-02-2019

A Singular Achievement!

Ed Wilson has tied four great arenas of study into a comprehensive whole ... physics, molecular biology, sociology and the humanities are glimpsed tracking towards a common science ... the science of life ... we're not there yet, and we must still pass existential bottlenecks, but parts of the way forward are now more illuminated ... a tour de force of rigorous scientific aspiration and realization!

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  • Carson
  • 04-12-2018

everyone should read this

A fantastical and expressively deep dive into the connective tissues of the sciences. Informative and poetically prosed explanations, that pose a question we must all internalize, "is the way that categorically organize and interprete all the culminated scientific observations and data wrong at it's most fundamental core?" The answer suggested by this reading is a resounding "yes!"

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-06-2019

Choppy, ambitious and a little too general

Overall the book wasn't too bad but a little dated and myopic. The criticisms about modernity were not factual - bottom line, people are much better off today than they were 100 years ago - but I liked the sections about transcendalism and co-evolution

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-2019

absolutley lovely

Edward o Wilson is one of my favorite authors and this is one of his centerpieces of writing.

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  • Chris Stamplis
  • 09-10-2018

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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  • Jiri Klouda
  • 03-10-2018

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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  • David A. Wilson Jr.
  • 13-09-2018

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.

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  • VDS
  • 27-09-2020

I've never read a book better than this one

Edward O. Wilson is an incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable author. He has a great talent to convince. He is a great wise man.

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