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The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge (Culture of the Land)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

Human dependence on technology has increased exponentially over the past several centuries, along with the notion that environmental problems can be solved 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 offer profound arguments for the advantages of an ignorance-based worldview. Examining the relationship between the land and the future generations who will depend on it, they propose that, while we cannot improve upon nature, by putting this new perspective to work in our professional and personal lives we can live sustainably on Earth.

About the Author

Bill Vitek is associate professor of philosophy at Clarkson University. He is the author of several books, including Promising, Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place and Applying Philosophy.

Wes Jackson is the president of the Land Institute and former professor at Kansas Wesleyan and California State universities. He is the author of several books, including Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place, Becoming Native to This Place, and Altars of an Unhewn Stone.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780813124773
Author:
Vitek, Bill
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Editor:
Vitek, Bill; Jackson, Wes
Editor:
Jackson, Wes
Author:
Jackson, Wes
Subject:
TEC003070
Subject:
Agriculture - Sustainable Agriculture
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Conservation of natural resources
Subject:
Sustainable Development
Subject:
Philosophy and science
Subject:
Agriculture-Sustainable Living
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Culture of the Land
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
354
Dimensions:
8.98x6.40x1.27 in. 1.50 lbs.

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Related Subjects


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 Hardcover
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Product details 354 pages University Press of Kentucky - English 9780813124773 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Human dependence on technology has increased exponentially over the past several centuries, along with the notion that environmental problems can be solved 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 offer profound arguments for the advantages of an ignorance-based worldview. Examining the relationship between the land and the future generations who will depend on it, they propose that, while we cannot improve upon nature, by putting this new perspective to work in our professional and personal lives we can live sustainably on Earth.
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