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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge (Culture of the Land)

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Human dependence on technology has increased exponentially over the past several centuries, and so too has the notion that we can fix environmental problems with scientific applications. The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge proposes an alternative to this hubristic, shortsighted, and dangerous worldview. The contributors argue that uncritical faith in scientific knowledge has created many of the problems now threatening the planet and that our wholesale reliance on scientific progress is both untenable and myopic. Bill Vitek, Wes Jackson, and a diverse group of thinkers, including Wendell Berry, Anna Peterson, and Robert Root-Bernstein, offer profound arguments for the advantages of an ignorance-based worldview. Their essays explore this philosophy from numerous perspectives, including its origins, its essence, and how its implementation can preserve vital natural resources for posterity. All conclude that we must simply accept the proposition that our ignorance far exceeds our knowledge and always will. Rejecting the belief that science and technology are benignly at the service of society, the authors argue that recognizing ignorance might be the only path to reliable knowledge. They also uncover an interesting paradox: knowledge and insight accumulate fastest in the minds of those who hold an ignorance-based worldview, for by examining the alternatives to a technology-based culture, they expand their imaginations. Demonstrating that knowledge-based worldviews are more dangerous than useful, The Virtues of Ignorance looks closely at the relationship between the land and the future generations who will depend on it. The authors argue that we can never improve upon nature but that we can, by putting this new perspective to work in our professional and personal lives, live sustainably on Earth.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780813192581
Author:
Vitek, Bill
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Editor:
Jackson, Wes
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Agriculture - Sustainable Agriculture
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Environmental Studies-General
Series:
Culture of the Land
Publication Date:
20100431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.10x6.06x.88 in. 1.20 lbs.

Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Sustainable Living
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge (Culture of the Land) New Trade Paper
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Product details 368 pages University Press of Kentucky - English 9780813192581 Reviews:
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