Creating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and the Humanities

Paperback | October 15, 2011

EditorEdward Slingerland, Mark Collard

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Calls for a "consilient" or "vertically integrated" approach to the study of human mind and culture have, for the most part, been received by scholars in the humanities with either indifference or hostility. One reason for this is that consilience has often been framed as bringing the study ofhumanistic issues into line with the study of non-human phenomena, rather than as something to which humanists and scientists contribute equally. The other major reason that consilience has yet to catch on in the humanities is a dearth of compelling examples of the benefits of adopting a consilientapproach. Creating Consilience is the product of a workshop that brought together internationally-renowned scholars from a variety of fields to address both of these issues. It includes representative pieces from workshop speakers and participants that examine how adopting such a consilient stance - informed by cognitive science and grounded in evolutionary theory - would concretely impact specific topics in the humanities, examining each topic in a manner that not onlycuts across the humanities-natural science divide, but also across individual humanistic disciplines. By taking seriously the fact that science-humanities integration is a two-way exchange, this volume takes a new approach to bridging the cultures of science and the humanities. The editors andcontributors formulate how to develop a new shared framework of consilience beyond mere interdisciplinarity, in a way that both sides can accept.

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Calls for a "consilient" or "vertically integrated" approach to the study of human mind and culture have, for the most part, been received by scholars in the humanities with either indifference or hostility. One reason for this is that consilience has often been framed as bringing the study ofhumanistic issues into line with the study ...

Edward Slingerland is Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition a the University of British Columbia. Mark Collard is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Human Evolutionary Studies at Simon Fraser University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019979569X

ISBN - 13:9780199795697

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Table of Contents

IntroductionEdward Slingerland and Mark Collard Creating Consilience: Toward a Second WavePart I: Theoretical IssuesSection One: Ontologies for the Human1. The humanities and human nature2. The meta-physical realities of the un-physical sciences: Why vertical integration seems un-realistic to ontological pluralists3. Mind-body dualism and the two cultures4. On the psychological origins of dualism: Dual-process cognition and the explanatory gapSection Two: Consilience Through The Lens of Anthropology5. From studious irrelevancy to consilient knowledge: Modes of scholarship and cultural anthropology6. Whence and whither sociocultural anthropology7. Unconsilience: Rethinking the two-cultures conundrum in anthropologyPart II: Case StudiesSection Three: Culture8. Culture in songbirds and its contribution toward the evolution of new species9. When does psychology drive culture?10. Quantifying the importance of motifs on Attic figure-painted pottery11. Agents, intelligence, and social atomsSection Four: Religion12. Evolutionary Religious Studies (ERS): A beginner's gu13. The cultural evolution of religion14. The importance of being "Ernest"Section Five: Morality15. We're all connected: Science, ethics and the law16. The evolution of a sense of morality17. Behavioral ethics18. Interdisciplinary education and knowledge translation programs in neuroethicsSection Six: Literature and Oral Traditions19. "Once the child is lost he dies": Monster stories vis-a-vis the problem of errant children20. "By weapons made worthy": a Darwinian perspective on Beowulf21. Palaeolithic politics in British novels of the Nineteenth Century22. Language, cognition and literatureAfterword"Two Points About Two Cultures"Appendix"Integrating Science and the Humanities"List of talks and workshop participants