25 February 2016

Edward O. Wilson and The Meaning of Human Existence

Just finished the rather short (200pp) valedictory essay, I guess you'd call it, by the eminent sociobiologist (a category he more or less invented) and ant expert, 86 year old Edward O. Wilson. The Meaning of Human Existence. (Not exactly a modest little piece). But seriously, whether you're "dogmatized" by what he refers to as "tribal" religion-based concepts of reality, or a free thinking humanist, you owe it to yourself to pick up this clearly written and thought-through little book. 

Wilson is a bit controversial, but he's backed away from some of the objectionable implications of the form of selection dynamics he championed in Sociobiology: The New Synthesis in the 70s, and the two terms he either coined or brought to prominence in thinking about the interface between the "two spheres" of the humanities and science, Consilience and Biophilia, tell you a lot about his perspective. (Those are also book titles).

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