What is a consilient society?
A consilient society is one in which different systems of knowledge, such as science, ethics, and spirituality, are integrated and aligned towards a common goal of promoting the well-being of all individuals and the planet. This idea was popularized by philosopher E.O. Wilson, who wrote in his book "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge,"
"The tendency of the sciences to converge upon a single explanation of the natural world, despite their diverse methods and starting points, is known as consilience.”
In a consilient society, the fragmented and siloed approach to problem-solving that prevails in much of today's world would give way to a holistic, integrated perspective that recognizes the interconnectedness of all aspects of life. This would lead to solutions that are not only effective, but also ethical and sustainable in the long term. We are in the midst of a meta crisis in which often is believing these siloed approaches to be whole. When we invite outliers in, which has not proven to be a popular tactic, we actually begin to see our perceived holistic view may not be close to holistic after all.
According to Daniel Schmachtenberger, someone I have learned a great deal from, believes a consilient society is important today because it would address the complex and interrelated challenges facing humanity, such as climate change, social inequality, and political polarization. I feel this can be expanded into almost every institutional setting down to the microcosms of family and even identity. By combining the best of what different disciplines have to offer, a consilient society and thinking would foster innovation and progress in ways that are both environmentally responsible and socially just. One in which we can contain, with less judgement, a multitude of perceptions and find ways is which living is possible within those dimensions.
A consilient society represents a step forward in our collective evolution, away from fragmentation and towards unity. By aligning our knowledge, values, and actions, we can create a world that works for everyone and everything. Now doesn't that sound like a step in the right direction?