Ferocious Minds: Polymathy and the New Enlightenment

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Wildside Press LLC, Jan 1, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 224 pages
Two centuries ago, the first Enlightenment failed when its dream of reason smashed into the passions and fury of stubborn humans. Without a deep, broad understanding of the world, the emerging Enlightenment was left floundering, its best impulses perverted into the bloody excess of the French Revolution. Arguably, its idealism and noble goals led directly, and shockingly, to the 20th century's totalitarian nightmares. Now the 21st century is learning anew the Faustian hunger to know everything that can be known. But Enlightenment values of reason and tolerance, enriched by new knowledge, face a complex world no less eager to embrace medieval terrorism and ancient superstitions, a world bizarrely denying itself many of the fresh opportunities amd insights availed by science. Can we find cures for poverty, unhappiness, ignorance, the ruination of the planet, aging, and perhaps for death itself? If so, should we? Damien Broderick's own ferocious mind invites you to explore today's unexpected treasure-house of understanding-and provides enticing glimpses of tomorrow's.
 

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Contents

Aleph and Omicron
9
Beginnings
21
Childs Garden of Change
30
Darwins Beige Box
35
Evolution Nation
47
Freedom and Folly
56
Gender Confusions
66
Halleys Comet
72
Post Human
122
a HalfBaked Idea
128
Reading the Brain
134
Satiable Curtiosity
137
Tomorrowland
146
Undying Love
154
Virtual Realities
162
Wonderment and Science
172

Images
77
Jousting with the Genes
80
Kant Kass and Clones
88
Lives for Knowledge
98
Microbots
104
Numb and Number
107
Oedipus Schmoedipus
112
XFiles Reality
178
Yesterdays Dreams
186
Zeitgeist mechanics
193
Sources cited
207
Index
219
Copyright

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