Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

by E. O. Wilson
New York: Vintage, 1999. 384 pages.

A provocative and controversial book, Consilience explains that “With the aid of the scientific method, we have gained an encompassing view of the physical world far beyond the dreams of earlier generation,” and announces, “The great adventure is now beginning to turn inward, toward ourselves,” as Wilson argues for all forms of inquiry — including ethics, art, and religion — to be based on and subsumed within science. Freeman Dyson writes, “The book is a major contribution to philosophy, whether you agree with it or not. ... This is a great and noble vision, portrayed with eloquence and passion.”