The Precipice (Paperback)Toby Ord (author)
Placing our contemporary era within the timeline of human history, moral philosopher Ord assesses the risks – from climate change to engineered pandemics – that the world currently faces and hoe we can meet the inevitable challenges we will face head on.
We live during the most important era of human history. In the twentieth century, we developed the means to destroy ourselves - without developing the moral framework to ensure we won't. This is the Precipice, and how we respond to it will be the most crucial decision of our time.
Oxford moral philosopher Toby Ord explores the risks to humanity's future, from the familiar man-made threats of climate change and nuclear war, to the potentially greater, more unfamiliar threats from engineered pandemics and advanced artificial intelligence.
With clear and rigorous thinking, Ord calculates the various risk levels, and shows how our own time fits within the larger story of human history. We can say with certainty that the novel coronavirus does not pose such a risk. But could the next pandemic? And what can we do, in our present moment, to face the risks head on?
A major work that brings together the disciplines of physics, biology, earth and computer science, history, anthropology, statistics, international relations, political science and moral philosophy, The Precipice is a call for a new understanding of our age: a major reorientation in the way we see the world, our history, and the role we play in it.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 330 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Toby Ord is today's Carl Sagan. Clear and inspiring, this book leaves us hopeful for a flourishing human future' - Christine Peterson, co-founder of the Foresight Institute
'The Precipice separates science from hype and will remain the definitive work on existential risk for a long time to come' - Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0 and Our Mathematical Universe
'Humanity has never been more vulnerable - there's now a one-in-six chance that civilisation won't make it to the end of the century, argues a highly influential philosopher ... Ord's analysis of the science is exemplary ... Thrillingly written' - The Sunday Times
'Many people have recently found that they want to read books offering the grandest perspectives possible on human existence, such as Sapiens ... Toby Ord's new book is a startling and rigorous contribution to this genre that deserves to be just as widely read' - Evening Standard
'Splendid ... The Precipice is a powerful book, written with a philosopher's eye ... Ord's love for humanity and hope for its future is infectious' - Spectator
'Urgent and vaguely prophetic ... In a year in which our everyday lives were upended by the unexpected (or rather the expected yet neglected), The Precipice is a good way to put everything in perspective' - WIRED
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