5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Spectacular,July 12, 2012
This is one of a handful of books I will not donate to the library as has been my custom. I first learned of this author through his work Homeland Earth : A Manifesto for the New Millennium (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity and the Human Sciences). I was hugely drawn into the author's brilliant web of thinking, and delighted to learn that he is still alive and active in France.
This book can serve in so many ways. For myself, it is an independent confirmation of all that I have been exploring through the minds of others–the 1,800 plus authors whose works I have reviewed here at Amazon. It is a spectacular indictment of the existing educational, intelligence, and research systems that have become so fragmented and wasteful as to be an impediment to progress.
Since Look Inside the Book is not available, I will just list the main chapter heading–each chapter has three sub-chapters. This is an elegant cathedral of a book, the equivalent for the author's huge body of work that Will and Ariel Durant's Lessons of History 1ST Edition was for their own multi volume The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set).
Chapter 1. Detecting error and illusion
Chapter 2. Principles of pertinent knowledge
Chapter 3. Teaching the human condition
Chapter 4. Earth identity
Chapter 5. Confronting uncertainties
Chapter 6. Understanding each other
Chapter 7. Ethics for the human genre
This book would make a phenomenal high school senior honors class, and it could certainly be used to good effect as the starting volume for the freshman in college. It would enlighten any policymaker or politician or corporate chief.
Among the many bottom lines in this marvelous treasure of a book — a keepsake for a lifetime of reflection — are these:
1. Holistic knowledge, not isolated knowledge, is what matters.
2. Understanding of the other, not depth of personal knowledge, is critical.
3. Appreciation for our Earth and humanity contexts must precede our becoming intelligent as a species.
4. Individual intelligence is nothing without social intelligence
I will have to read this book more than once to appreciate it. It is not very long and has no notes or references, it is in every sense of the word a Nobel Laureate's “big picture” brought home in a manner relevant to every mind and every heart. Edgar Morin for me is the living embodiment of what we should all be aspiring to be in our personal and professional consciousness.
A few other books I recommend along with this one:
The Tao of Democracy: Using co-intelligence to create a world that works for all
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
Communitas: Means of Livelihood and Ways of Life (Morningside Book Series)
Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential
Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World
Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution
This is such a fundamental book. If all the other books on the planet were to disappear, we would be well served to have this one as the one surviving book.