Several months ago, Daniel Sanderson (creator and author of PlankSip, a philosophy and culture media outlet and publishing enterprise), proposed a collaboration with me (George Gantz, creator and author of Spiral Inquiry, and exploration of science, faith and philosophy). The goal was to complete a podcast series commenting on a book we both felt great respect for – E.O. Wilson’s Consilience – the Unity of Knowledge (1998). For Daniel, Wilson had laid the groundwork for a process leading towards the grand ambition of the unification of science. My sense was that Wilson had indeed articulated the grand vision, but had glossed over key issues that, to my mind, would forever frustrate that aspiration.
Wilson made his aspiration clear in selecting this quote for the frontispiece to his book:
“Thus have I made as it were a small globe of the intellectual world, as truly and faithful as I could discover.” Francis Bacon (1605).
The podcast series includes twelve episodes, following roughly the Twelve Chapters of Wilson’s book. The conversation is far ranging, and while neither of us convinced the other to abandon our original positions, we both gained considerable perspective in the exchanges. The agreements we did find are that philosophical inquiry is hard but worthwhile, and is best when both parties practice humility, curiosity and respect, as well maintaining the commitment to seek that which is both true and good.
The episodes are all available on YouTube (link here). We would love to have you listen in to the conversation and share any thoughts you have on this blog post!
I like your question, “Will this lead to disruption, like the French revolution?”. In that case, I wonder who is the equivalent modern version of Rousseau or Robespierre?
Well it’s a stretch, and I don’t think the parallels are appropriate, but Pikketty may be the voice of conscience, and Trump the master of intolerance — not that he has any dogmatic compass…..