Human dependence on techlogy has increased exponentially over the past several centuries, and so too has the tion that we can fix environmental problems with scientific applications. The Virtues of Igrance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Kwledge proposes an alternative to this hubristic, shortsighted, and dangerous worldview. The contributors argue that uncritical faith in scientific kwledge has created many of the problems w 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 igrance-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 igrance far exceeds our kwledge and always will. Rejecting the belief that science and techlogy are benignly at the service of society, the authors argue that recognizing igrance might be the only path to reliable kwledge. They also uncover an interesting paradox: kwledge and insight accumulate fastest in the minds of those who hold an igrance-based worldview, for by examining the alternatives to a techlogy-based culture, they expand their imaginations. Demonstrating that kwledge-based worldviews are more dangerous than useful, The Virtues of Igrance 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.
Bill Vitek, professor of philosophy at Clarkson University, is the author of several books, including Promising, Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place, and Applying Philosophy. He lives in Postdam, New York.Wes Jackson, president of the Land Institute and former professor at Kansas Wesleyan and California State universities, 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. He lives in Salina, Kansas.