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The Last Unknowns: Deep, Elegant, Profound Unanswered Questions About the Universe, the Mind, the Future of Civilization, and the Meaning of Life
Contributor(s): Brockman, John (Editor), Kahneman, Daniel (Foreward By)

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ISBN: 0062897942     ISBN-13: 9780062897947
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: June 2019
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Annotation: Presents the "ultimate questions" posed by 284 of the world's leading scientists, academics, artists and intellectuals including Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker and Nina Jablonski who ask "When will race disappear?" and "Why are there no trees in the ocean?" Original.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Science; Miscellanea.
Philosophy; Miscellanea.
Questions and answers.
BISAC Categories:
- Science | Essays
- Social Science | Essays
Dewey: 500
LCCN: bl2019018382
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 7.00" H x 5.00" W x 1.00" (0.70 lbs) 332 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2019 April #2)

In a fitfully intriguing but ultimately disappointing collection, Brockman (Possible Minds), CEO of the Brockman Inc. literary agency, assembles far-reaching questions—unaccompanied by answers—from 284 people. Each person was prompted, he explains, to "ask ‘the last question,' your last question, the question for which you will be remembered." Some participants are well-known, such as Jared Diamond, Freeman Dyson, Ian McEwan, and Steven Pinker, but most, while well-respected in their fields, will likely be new to general readers. Though eclectic in composition, those included are predominantly scientists (approximately 60%) and overwhelmingly male (76%). Some deal with epistemology (philosopher René Scheu asks, "Is a human brain capable of understanding a human brain?") or with the future of humanity (astrophysicist Martin Rees wonders, "Will post-humans be organic or electronic?"), while others are more philosophical (artist James Croak asks, "Why do we experience feelings of meaning in a universe without purpose?") Some are genuinely provocative, but others are too technical or abstract for nonspecialists. Despite the tidbits of insight strewn throughout, this loosely organized compendium is unlikely, on the whole, to spark the kind of engagement and intellectual excitement for which Brockman presumably hoped. Agent: Max Brockman, Brockman, Inc. (June)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.
 
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