- Bacon (Francis) and man’s two-faced kingdom
- Francis Bacon and man’s two-faced kingdom Antonio Pérez-Ramos Two closely related but distinct tenets about Bacon’s philosophy have been all but rejected by contemporary historiography. The first is Bacon’s attachment to the so-called British empiricist school, that is, the perception of him as the forerunner or inspirer of thinkers such as Locke, Berkeley or Hume. This putative lineage has been chiefly the result of nineteenth-century German scholarship, beginning with Hegel’s own Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie and his trail of imitators and disciples.1 The glaring fact that Bacon’s name is hardly (if at all) mentioned by his progeny of would-be co-religionists, or the serious questioning of the existence of any such entity as the ‘British empiricist school’, has added further weight to this radical work of revision of the Lord Chancellor’s significance.2 The canon of great philosophers is, to a great extent, a matter of flux, and nationalistic attachments or polarizations should always pale beside the historically recorded use of the same idiolect in philosophical matters, as is largely the case with Descartes or Malebranche— those French ‘rationalists’— and Locke, Berkeley or Hume—those ‘British empiricists’. The second tenet that awaits clarification is the exact nature of Bacon’s own philosophical achievement as regards the emergence of the new scientific movement—a movement usually associated with the names of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes or Newton. This point is extremely difficult to assess, for it is almost demonstrably true that no such stance or category as our ‘science’ (any more than our ‘scientist’) existed in Bacon’s day and for a long time thereafter,3 and hence the web of interpretations must make generous allowances for an inevitable although self-aware anachronism. Bacon was systematically deified by the English Royal Society, by eighteenth-century French philosophes and by eminent Victorian figures such as Herschel or Whewell. Research has shown, however, that the tenor of such deifications was different in each case; for example, the last-named Baconsbild was largely prompted by criticism of supposedly Baconian doctrines coming from David Brewster and other Scottish scientists and philosophers, as well as from Romantic notions about the role of ‘genius’ in science, hardly compatible with the allegedly egalitarian character of Bacon’s methodology.4 Be that as it may, as an example of the sort of cultural consensus which transcends the limits of what can be reasonably termed ‘philosophy’ and adopts the sweeping pathos of an all-embracing ideology, we can profitably read this anonymous passage5 from the Quarterly Review—a sample of Bacon’s cult in Victorian England: The Baconian philosophy, having for its object the increase of human pleasures and the decrease of human pains, has on this principle made all its brilliant discoveries in the physical world, and having thereby effected our vast progress in the mechanical arts, has proved itself to be the allsufficient philosophy. This evaluation has radically changed in our century. Bacon’s philosophy has been solemnly declared a fraud, bearing, as a methodology, no relation whatsoever to the heritage of the true founding fathers of modern science—all of them representatives of mathematically inspired patterns of thought, that is, men such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes or Mersenne. Thus, any talk about Bacon’s methodology has been dismissed as ‘provincial and illiterate’.6 Now and then, however, Baconian apologiae have appeared, for example Paolo Rossi’s book Francesco Bacone. Dalla Magia alla Scienza (Italian original published in 1957),7 but it is a most telling sign of the ostensibly difficult position that wouldbe apologists have to defend that nowadays the terms of the debate are most of the time centred around the ‘arts of communication and rhetoric’, the general history of ideas, politics and literature, rather than dealing with philosophy proper.8 Reminders such as Paolo Rossi’s have been all too rare, and scant attention has been paid to Bacon’s philosophical credentials: One very obvious thing must not be forgotten: the science of the 17th and 18th centuries was at once Galilean and Baconian and Cartesian.9 Yet, the sense in which a branch at least of the new science was Baconian remains opaque if a precise answer is not given to this precise historical query: what exactly makes a science Baconian? Now, it is the great merit of T.S.Kuhn to have solved (partly at least) this scholarly enigma by providing a highly plausible profile of that new entity in Western culture: the Baconian sciences which, both as regards their objects of knowledge and their methodology, entered the sanctioned canon of secular research about half a century after the death of their inspirer. Contrary to his mathematically tutored counterpart, the Baconian natural philosopher aspired to isolate some humble pieces of knowledge by drawing copious histories or inventories of the phenomena under investigation—sometimes viewing them for the first time as worthy objects of study—and then cautiously and provisionally theorizing on his findings.10 In brief, the Baconian natural philosopher created or partook of a novel ‘style of scientific thinking’.11 The contention that experimenting in certain new fields of research— e.g. magnetism, electricity, living matter and so forth—in the way we observe in men like Boyle or Hooke and a host of minor virtuosi is a legitimate goal of the inquiring mind bypasses the blunt question as to Bacon’s direct influence on Western science. Those thinkers and their changing relation with their mathematical counterparts established the rise of a solid experimental tradition whose ultimate source we find in the then prevalent interpretation of the Lord Chancellor’s writings.12 The fusion of the mathematical tradition with the Baconian was to become a fascinating and decisive chapter in the history of Western thought, but it took place with different rhythms and priorities in each science as well as in each country. To date, however, this is the best answer that we possess as regards the significance of Baconian ideas amongst methodologically minded scientists. As to philosophy proper and the intrinsic merits of, say, Bacon’s seminal insights on method or induction (questions intriguingly absent from the concerns of the early Baconians), the only significant exception to the chorus of universal denigration seems to be the study systematically undertaken by L. Jonathan Cohen. From his interpretations there emerges, amongst other findings, the unexpected notion of a Baconian as against a Pascalian conception of probability, and the general and radical revision of Bacon’s ideas in the context of scientific methodology. In fine, a new philosophical setting for re-evaluation and study is beginning to take shape.13 Bacon’s main starting-point is expressly announced in the very title of his overambitious Instattratio Magna and of its second (and only completed) part: the Novum Organum.14 That is, Bacon places himself, as a thinker, under the aegis of beneficent and radical innovation. Now, it would be utterly naive to presuppose that categories of innovation and novelty have been coextensive throughout history. On the contrary, men have devised different techniques when dealing with new ideas or objects whenever it was felt that the accepted fabric of meanings was unable to account for or assimilate a challenging novum. In Bacon’s case most scholars agree that a particular kind of utopianism was the driving force that acted behind his philosophical endeavours. Nevertheless, there are many brands of utopianism and Bacon’s cognitive project of a new instauratio blends together some of the most recondite meanings of early modern Utopian thought. First of all, that thought does not recognize or think itself as revolutionary in our sense of the term, and therefore it does not inscribe itself in a linear conception of history, contrary to what Bacon’s most vocal admirers were to assume in the eighteenth century.15 The living roots of Bacon’s utopianism, as manifested by his frequent use of the concept of instauration, are simultaneously religious, ritual, civil and ‘technological’. Instaurare is nothing less than ‘restoring’ man’s power over Nature as he wielded it before the Fall; instaurare, furthermore, means to channel the pathos of novelty towards epistemic and political goals that bear the traces of spiritual edification and societal initiation (as in the phrase instauratio imperii to be found in the tract Temporis Partus Masculus, drafted c. 1603); and, lastly, instaurare strikes a technological chord because Bacon makes his own the architectural topos which the term had come to express in most Western languages.16 Thus, Bacon explicitly refers to God as ‘Deus universi, conditor, conservator, instaurator’(II, 15). Or, as he puts it in the celebrated lines of Novum Organum II, 52: Man by the Fall fell at the same time from his state of innocency and from his dominion over Creation. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired, the former by religion and faith, the latter by arts and sciences. (IV, 247f.; I, 365f.) Further yet, when Bacon expresses himself in a more sober manner, what he seems to present as his own golden age of thought turns out to be the pre- Socratic period, as though the tradition of ‘yet former ages’ had an unexplored potential that modern thought, however innovative, could perhaps restore but hardly surpass or emulate. Bacon’s instauratio ab imis fundamentis (‘a new beginning from the very foundations’, IV, 53) in fact leads from past-oriented humanism and Christian ideas of innovation to the early modern concept of revolution, for which antecedents become irrelevant. Instauratio is a flexible vehicle that helps Bacon to leap that distance.17 There is a second starting-point in Bacon’s speculations which is not, historically speaking, so tied to the particular kind of culture to which Bacon belonged and against which he reacted. Like Plato’s Myth of the Cave or Kant’s Dove of Reason, Bacon’s typology of human error can be understood and appreciated (and in fact it usually is) outside the specific province of Bacon’s philosophy. So his theory of the Idols or canonical forms of error imprinted on the human mind (Nov. Org. I, 39–41) is one of the most brilliant precedents of later attempts at systematically building up a catalogue or anthropological classification of ideologies.18 Mankind, according to Bacon, is fatally prone to err for a variety of reasons. As a species, it has its own limitations which make error inescapable; such intellectual and sensory constraints are called Idola Tribus or Idols of the Tribe, and there is no hint of an optimistic note as to whether they can be overcome or cured (Nov. Org. I, 399–41). Moreover, each man, when trying to know anything, invariably brings with him his own set of preferences and dislikes, that is, his own psychological make-up, which will colour whatever he attempts to cognize in its purity. These prejudices are the so-called Idola Specus or Idols of the Cave (Bacon is alluding to Plato’s image in Republic 514A–519D), to which all of us, as individuals, are subject (Nov. Org. I, 42). Further yet, man is the hopeless victim of the traps and delusions of language, that is, of his own great tool of knowledge and communication, and hence he will fall prey to the Idola Fori or Idols of the Marketplace, which unavoidably result from his being a speaking animal (Nov. Org. I, 43). And, lastly, the very act of entering into intercourse with others conjures up a great panoply of illusion and imposture, where truth succumbs to the sophistries of social convention: these are the Idola Theatri or Idols of the Theatre. According to Bacon, there is no thinking in a vacuum: man is beset by what others thought before him, and therefore he is the appointed heir to all past sects and philosophies. The Idols of the Theatre are for ever hovering over the prospective philosopher (Nov. Org. I, 44). The mind of man, in sum, is by no means a tabula abrasa, to use the consecrated empiricist shibboleth, but rather an ‘enchanted glass’ or ‘distorted mirror’ (St Paul, I Cor. 13: 9–10, 12). The true interpreter of Nature, that is, the true philosopher, must be always on his guard against the intrusion of such Trugbilder or mirages into his field of cognitive interests. Bacon, however, never expressly states that man can become entirely free from such deceiving propensities. Not even the last of them, that is, the Idola Theatri or unlawful children of philosophy, disappear from the menacing potential of Bacon’s own speculations. Let us go back to the technocratic component that the concept of instauratio encapsulated. Bacon, seemingly innocently, defines philosophy as ‘the Inquiry of Causes and the Production of Effects’ (De Augmentis III, 4: I, 550; IV, 346). Likewise, the High Priest in the Nova Atlantis instructs the admiring visitor by telling him that ‘the end of our Foundation [that is, Salomon’s House] is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire to the effecting of all things possible’ (III, 156). Now, the decisively striking point in these and similar definitions is their second part, for traditional philosophical discourse did not contemplate the physical production of anything. Surely, the ‘effects’ (opera) to be achieved are dictated by the general philanthropic tenor of Bacon’s philosophy, but it would be a gross mistake to confuse it, as is often done, with any form of utilitarianism.19 First of all, we have to identify the ideological trend that Bacon is recapturing when proffering such pithy definitions. Now, this trend leads us back to a tradition which, though prior to humanistic thought, inspired a great deal of philosophical writing in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In fact, the first great representative of this current in the modern epoch is Nicholas of Cusa (1401– 64), who systematically reflected on the much-discussed relationship between God’s and man’s intellect and their opera. Heir to Neoplatonic traditions, Cusa establishes that man, that fallen creature, is not wholly devoid of that allimportant and defining attribute of the Christian Godhead: the power to create.20 Even as God created the world, man is empowered to create another world (that of mathematicals and abstract notions) in so far as he is not eternally condemned to copying or imitating Nature but is able to surpass her by making items (e.g. a spoon) for which Nature has no exemplar or prototype.21 Of course, Cusa’s main interests were theological and hence he did not develop a line of thought which we could easily link with ‘the question of technology’, as it came to be formulated much later. But it is surprising how tantalizingly close he came to giving a systematic response to many of the sporadic pronouncements— sometimes articulated in interrogative form—which abound in the perhaps better known reflections of the humanists. Let us quickly review some of them. Juan Luis Vives (1492–1540) pithily writes that ‘man knows as far as he can make’,22 posing thereby a pragmatic criterion for knowledge and certainty which others were to exploit in various forms. Cardanus (1501–76) establishes that only in mathematics is there certainty, because the intellect itself produces or brings forth the entities it operates with.23 Leonardo (1452–1519) states that human science is a second creation.24 The sceptic Francisco Sanches (1552–1623), in Quod Nihil Scitur (1581), uses this topos to castigate human reason, since only God can know what he has made.25 Bruno (1548–1600) rejects the primacy of contemplation and argues that, where there is the power to make and to produce something, there is also the certainty of that something being known.26 Paracelsus (1493–1541) clearly argues that Nature has to be artificially brought to the point where she discloses herself to man’s enquiring gaze.27 Even less known figures are eager to stress that it is homo faber only who wields the sole and true weapons enabling him to enter into Nature’s mysteries. For example, the sixteenth-century Italian engineer Giuseppe Ceredi expresses the notion that modelling ‘Nature as if it become mechanical in the construction of the world and of all the forms of things’ would enable the natural philosopher, by proper and voluntary manipulation, to attain ‘to the perfection of art and to the stable production of the effects that is expected’.28 Now, this tradition of thought goes back to classical Antiquity, and identifies objects of knowledge and objects of construction in various fields and degrees. For example, this is done in mathematics, craftsmanship, theology, astronomy and other disciplines, and later on this topos helped people to rethink the essence and role of human art, which, in view of the fertility of man’s inventiveness, could no longer be perceived as a simple mimesis or imitation of Nature.29 Several labels can be aptly applied to this particular cast of the human mind when reflecting on the problem of knowledge: the ‘ergetic ideal’ is a very accurate appellation;30 the verum ipsum factum principle echoes a historically consecrated formula (by Giambattista Vico in the eighteenth century); and the name ‘maker’s knowledge’ reminds us that images of science, ideals of thought and abstract speculations on the cognitive powers of man are grounded on and ultimately lead to a handful of historically and socially given archetypes: man as beholder, man as user, man as maker.31 For these reasons, Bacon’s definition of philosophy and its ‘productive’ appendix turns out to be slightly less original than it appeared at first sight (or rather, at second sight, for at first sight it could well be taken for a trivial utilitarian tag). True, it must have seemed so to Bacon’s contemporaries, accustomed as they were to a ‘verbal’ kind of culture which Bacon so directly attacks. Likewise, the famous dictum ‘Knowledge is power’ appears in a different light now: knowledge is that manipulatory power (potentia) which serves as its own guarantee.32 Thus far what we might term Bacon’s implicit or tacit starting-point in epistemological matters. He is the (unexpected?) representative of an established but almost hidden gnoseological tradition. His driving force seems to be the vindication of a prototype or paradigm of knowledge and of a criterion to gauge it that he (unlike other thinkers) nowhere appears to have fully articulated in an abstract and systematic manner. Yet, Bacon’s starting-point, as revealed by the rhetorical devices he employs in order to commend his cognitive project and by the religious mould in which he chooses to cast his programme, is as transparent as it could be. Most significantly, Bacon contrasts the progress and perfectiveness of human art, as portrayed in technical innovation, with the stagnation and backwardness of philosophy (Parasceve I, 399; IV, 257; De Augmentis II, ch. 2: I, 399f.; IV, 297f.). The printing press, the mariner’s compass and the use of gunpowder are not only the indelible marks of modernity but the living proof of the fertility of the human mind when correctly applied to those things it is legitimately fit to know or invent. Yet, one should stress here the tremendous axiological shift that Bacon is silently proposing as his rockbottom option for, on purely logical grounds, nothing is intrinsically more ‘useful’ than anything else, except with respect to a scale of values which, in itself, ought to remain beyond the very scope of discussion about fertility or sterility.33 The specific contents of a given philosophical discourse may originally correspond to or be the basis of an ideal of science which, for a variety of reasons, is subsequently forgotten or overshadowed by a competing one. That Bacon’s insights into the nature of human knowledge constitute a coherent type of operativist or constructivist epistemology in the sense enunciated above by no means implies that the ingredients of Bacon’s scientific ideal could not have been extracted from the original context and taken over by other cognitive programmes or proposals. Ideas about induction, experiment, mattertheory and the like belong to this class of ingredients, as do in other domains techniques of measurement or the register of natural constants. The latter build up the specific ‘grammar’ of a discourse (i.e. its syntactic rules, its vocabulary and so on), whilst the former are akin to the general semantics which the text ultimately appeals to or reveals. Thus, the elementary propositions of geometrical optics (e.g. the laws of refraction or reflection) can serve the purposes of and be incorporated into both a corpuscularian and an undulatory theory of light. Likewise, Bacon’s seminal insights about induction or experiment may be studied, to a large extent at least, independently of any discussion about the maker’s knowledge ideal. Contrary to a widespread opinion, Francis Bacon was not the first philosopher who tried to elaborate something akin to a logic of induction, and the wealth of remarks left by Aristotle on epag g well deserve exposition and comment.34 The scholastic tradition, by contrast, was more bent on the predominantly deductive cast of Aristotle’s mind, and hence the Schoolmen’s references to induction are both repetitive and shallow.35 In brief, they distinguished between a so-called inductio perfecta, which enumerated all the particulars under consideration, and an inductio imperfecta, which omitted some of them and therefore was liable to be overthrown by any contradictory instance. In neither case, however, did the scholastics or rhetoricians consider induction as a logical process for gaining knowledge. Francis Bacon was well aware of this tradition, and so he calls ‘puerile’ (Nov. Org. I, 105: I, 205; IV, 97; cf. also I, 137; IV, 24) the imperfect induction of the Schoolmen. That he did not care to mention the inductio perfecta may mean that, like other theoreticians afterwards, he did not consider it induction at all.36 Be that as it may, a cursory perusal of Bacon’s description of his own form of induction, and, above all, of the illustrations he gives of its deployment and use in Novum Organum II, 11–12, 36, builds up a strong case for deciding that Bacon’s employment of the term (even as of the term ‘form’, as we shall see) is but a mark of his self-confessed terminological conservatism (Nov. Org. II, 2), rather than a direct reference to a lexically wellestablished notion. The starting-point for the deployment of Bacon’s inductio is roughly similar to that of previous inductiones (as described in contemporaneous textbooks of philosophy and rhetoric).37 Nevertheless, it covers a register of logical procedures and is directed towards an aim —i.e. the discovery of Forms—that separates it off from traditional acceptations of that term. As a matter of fact, Bacon’s inductio belongs to the new-born movement of the ars inveniendi, and perhaps we should understand the term inductio as an umbrella word of sorts covering different steps and procedures.38 For brevity, I shall call them (1) the inductive, (2) the deductive and (3) the analogical steps. Bacon never tired of stressing that before his great logical machine could be put into use a vast collection or inventory of particulars should be made, building up a ‘natural history’ (historia naturalis et experimentalis) on which the investigator could firmly base himself before proceeding further. This notion of a ‘natural history’ found its finest hour with the members of the Royal Society, and even Descartes wrote to Mersenne most approvingly about this Baconian project.39 The notion, however, is somewhat circular in Bacon’s mind, for natural histories worth their salt should contain a record of artificial things or of ‘effects’ (opera) wrought by man, that is, ‘Nature in chains’ (I, 496ff.; III, 33ff.; IV, 253), and also of what we would term today ‘theory-laden experiments’ or, in Bacon’s colourful phrase, information resulting from ‘twisting the lion’s tail’: these are called upon to show how Nature behaves under unforeseen or ‘unnatural’ circumstances. The artificialist twist that Bacon gave to his original notion was not always well understood, and the full meaning of his concept of ‘experience’ became duly simplified as time went on and Bacon’s insight simply came to mean ‘compilation’.40 If, as L.Jonathan Cohen argues, all inductions can be divided into ampliative and summative,41 then Bacon’s concept is clearly a case of ampliative induction by way of elimination. It is not the sheer number of instances that counts in Baconian induction, but what we can term their ‘quality’. This is clearly expressed by Bacon in the Novum Organum by isolating twenty-seven privileged or ostensibly telling manifestations of the phenomenon under study (i.e. a natura in Bacon’s terminology) which carry a special, sometimes decisive, weight in the unfolding of the whole inquiry: unde terminatur questio (I, 294; IV, 150). Amongst other things, such privileged or prerogative instances (like main witnesses in a judicial hearing) are to help the investigator to establish the three canonical tables of Baconian inductio, that is, of Absence, Presence, and Degree of the natura in question, according as to whether a given phenomenon or natura appears always on its own, always accompanied by another, concomitant phenomenon, or sometimes varies in its conjunction according to circumstances that the investigator has to determine or manipulate (IV, 149–55; I, 261–8). Now, it is self-evident that the result of all these procedures is to isolate the phenomenon X, with whose manifestation we started, in order to find a kind of explanation (forma) of its essence or innermost being, as Bacon profusely illustrated with the cases of heat and motion in Novum Organum II, 20. In his own worked-out example, heat turns out to be, after all due rejections have been made, a species or particular class of motion, duly qualified and distinct. But here something exceptionally important happens. It is not the inductive work, that is, the summative or accumulative operation consisting of tabulating the different types of heat and their concomitant naturae, that seems to be functioning now, but a calculated series of deductive procedures aiming for the most part at eliminating redundant material in the form of a battery of deductive tests, that is, prerogative instances whose ‘inductive’ role is to serve as a deductive canon. These instances are sometimes falsification procedures of sorts, sometimes verificationist or probative attempts. For clarity, let us dwell on the following example. Bacon is here discussing the natura and forma of weight, that is, the best explanation which could answer this particular query: is weight, as a natura, a quality inherent in all bodies (something akin to form and extension) or is the weight of a particular body a variable depending on that body’s distance from the Earth? The following reasoning belongs to Bacon’s induction, but its deductive credentials are impeccable when he casts his argumentation into the scheme of an instantia crucis, or Instance of the Fingerpost in Victorian English: Let the nature in question be Weight or Heaviness. Here the road will branch into two, thus. It must needs be that heavy and weighty bodies either tend of their own nature to the centre of the Earth by reason of their proper configuration [per proprium schematismum]; or else that they are attracted by the mass or body of the Earth itself [a massa corporea ipsius Terrae] as by the congregation of kindred substances, and move to it by sympathy [per consensum]. If the latter be the case, it follows that, the nearer heavy bodies approach the Earth, the more rapid and violent is their motion; and that the further they are from the Earth, the feeble and more tardy is their motion (as in the case of magnetical attraction); and that this action is confined to certain limits [intra spatium certum], so that if they were removed to such a distance from the Earth that the Earth’s virtue could not act upon them, they would remain suspended like the Earth itself, and not fall at all. (IV, 184f.; I, 298f.) It is obvious from this presentation of the dilemma that Bacon is stressing the importance of a falsificationist procedure of the modus tollens kind: the end result expresses, logically speaking, the rejection of one hypothesis rather than the confirmation of its rival. The tacit presupposition that they exhaust the field of possible hypotheses is irrelevant at this stage; for Bacon inductio is an openended process and a third hypothesis may be suggested afterwards. Now in order to decide between the two theories Bacon goes on to propose an experiment which reproduces a pattern of reasoning already deployed in the Table of Rejections and Exclusions. The following instantia crucis42 bears the mark both of Bacon’s artificialist approach to natural inquiries (the whole point now is to create new data) and of the eminently deductive character of the whole procedure: Take a clock moved by leaden weights, and another moved by the compression of an iron spring; let them be exactly adjusted, that one go no faster than the other; then place the clock moving by weights onto the top of a very high steeple, keeping the other down below; and observe carefully whether the clock on the steeple goes more slowly than it did on account of the diminished virtue of its weights [propter diminutam virtutem ponderum]. Repeat the experiment [experimentum] in the bottom of a mine, sunk to a great depth below the ground; that is, observe whether the clock so placed does not go faster than it did, on account of the increased virtue of its weights [per auctam virtutem ponderum]. If the virtue of the weights is found to be diminished on the steeple and increased in the mine, we may take the attraction of the mass of the Earth as the cause of weight. (IV, 185; I, 299) Thus, we may extract at least five deductive procedures embedded in the fabric of Bacon’s so-called induction, all of them leading to an educated guess (opinabile) as to the Form or explanation of the phenomenon under scrutiny.43 This of course reinforces our claim that Bacon was using the term inductio in an extremely loose sense, meaning perhaps what a modern would call ‘a logic of scientific discovery’, rather than trying to ‘ameliorate’ the procedure called by that name as understood by contemporary rhetoricians and philosophers. Nor is this all. If we go back to the famous Baconian inquiry as to the Form of heat, we shall find that the (provisional) end result or vindemiatio prima (literally, ‘first vintage’) runs as follows: Heat is a motion, expansive, restrained and acting in its strife upon the smaller particles of bodies. But the expansion is thus modified; while it expands all ways, it has at the same time an inclination upwards. And the struggle in the particles is modified also; it is not sluggish, but hurried [incitatus] and with violence [cum impetu nonnullo]. (Nov. Org. II, 20; iv, 153; i, 266) This is, in Bacon’s phrase, the ‘first vintage’ or permissio intellectus, which is obviously a way of saying his first hypothesis after the exclusions and rejections resulting from the Tables. Now, it would be utterly useless to seek the relevant adjectives (incitatus, expansivus…) in the foregoing Tables—those indeed that make possible the exercise of ‘inductive’ reason—nor in the main thesis itself, namely that heat is a species of motion of such and such a kind. Bacon’s reasoning now is neither deductive nor inductive but analogical, that is, it seems to leap beyond what logic proper would allow. If Bacon calls these highly speculative jumps permissiones intellectus, and the moment the mind is allowed to make them vindemiatio or vintage, then one has to stress that in such stages negative instances are the most valuable and trustworthy of all: major est vis instantiae negativae (Nov. Org. I, 46). This, of course, no verificationist would adopt as a guideline. But when, how and why is it ‘permissible’ for the human intellect to proceed to such flights of creative imagination is something Bacon leaves embarrassingly in the dark: his approach is, so to speak, phenomenological as regards the inquiring mind, rather than, as with Descartes and others, foundationist or legitimatizing. Thus, that heat is a motion of such and such characteristics is the result of our ‘first vintage’ in the investigation of that phenomenon or natura, but as a theoretical statement it only possesses a certain degree of certainty: the method of inference is gradual (Nov. Org. II, 18), and hypothetical (Nov. Org. II, 18, 20). All this notwithstanding, a crucial qualification should be made here, and this sends us back to our chief thesis about Bacon’s being a proponent of the ergetic ideal or of a maker’s knowledge type of epistemology. In a nutshell, although the statements resulting from the first vintage are not in themselves theoretically definitive or binding and, in Bacon’s gradualist epistemology, they are subject to further revisions and refinements, all of them should be true in one all-important aspect, that is, as rules of action or as recipes for the successful manipulation of Nature. That is why the above aphorism continues in one breath: Viewed with reference to operation, it is the same thing [res eadem]. For the direction is this: If in any natural body you can excite a dilating or expanding motion, and can so repress this motion and turn it back upon itself, that the dilatation shall not proceed equably, but have its way in one part and be counteracted in another, you will undoubtedly [proculdubio] generate heat. (IV, 155; I, 266) That Bacon’s ‘rule of action’ has rather a conative character should not detain us here. The essential point to grasp is that, though the process of investigating natural phenomena is theoretically open-ended, the investigator has to attain some kind of collateral security (quasi fidejussione quadam: Nov. Org. I, 206) which results from the ‘production of effects’ (I, 550; IV, 346) appearing in Bacon’s very definition of philosophy. Such manipulation (ideally, ‘production’) shall shed further light on the object under investigation, in so far as by actively engaging in Nature’s processes those statements may disclose new and unexpected phenomena. To put it graphically, the cognitive process which Bacon seems to have in mind would look something like Figure 4.1.44 As we can see, the net of theoretical pronouncements (remember, ‘rules of action’) does not stand on a level, but goes up the scale according as it covers more and more phenomena: sometimes an axioma is ‘derived’ from a collection of phenomena or naturae; sometimes it points the way (‘downwards’) to unexpected and ‘artificial’ evidence. The leapfrogging articulation of the whole does justice, I think, to the several kinds of support that theory has to receive in Bacon’s conception. The term by which an axiom or theoretical statement of a given generality is declared to be a rule of action (ad operativam), as well as being capable of receiving support from unforeseeable quarters, is fidejussio, as pointed out above, and it is a proof of Bacon’s extraordinary acumen that he hit on one of the very characteristics that later theoreticians were to develop, namely that the worth of a scientific conjecture or hypothesis (an opinabile) is most vividly shown by evidence that it originally was not designed to explain.45 The vexed question of the Baconian Form is inextricably linked to the doctrine of induction, since the aim of Bacon’s scientia is to discover the ‘Forms of Figure 4.1 Articulation between particularia/opera and axiomata/formae in Bacon’s method: ascent and descent of axioms (Nov. Org. I. 19, 24, 103, 106) Things’. Scholars are to this day divided as to what exactly Bacon meant by this term. There are two main opposing groups: those for whom the Baconian Form was an inchoate and clumsy equivalent of our conception of natural law, and those who stress the most archaic elements of the notion and hence regard it as a remnant of a misunderstood Aristotelianism.46 I have already mentioned Bacon’s self-confessed lexical conservatism, and recent research tends to regard the Baconian Form as a highly idiosyncratic response to the then prevalent theory of ‘substantial forms’ which most thinkers of the modern age had to combat.47 The doctrine of substantial forms was an elaborate attempt on the part of a renewed Aristotelianism to defend itself against the ongoing attack of particulate theories of matter such as atomism. In the words of one of its most conspicuous representatives, Francisco Suarez (1548–1617),48 the most true opinion is that according to which in each composite substance there is only a substantial formal cause, and in each natural compound a substantial form. That is, within the matter and form dichotomy, the substantial forms are presumed to penetrate into the ultimate reality of things by imparting to each lump of matter those attributes and qualities that we can perceive. Fire, for example, has a substantial form whose nature is to burn, shine and so forth; an apple tree and a pine tree are different because the substantial form which configures their timber is different. The Baconian Form, on the other hand, tried to blend traditional elements coming from Aristotelian matter theory with protocorpuscularian doctrines close to his own, and wavering, response to atomism:49 For since the Form of a thing is the very thing itself [ipsissima res] and the thing differs from the Form no otherwise than as the apparent differs from the real, or the external from the internal, or the thing in reference to man from the thing in reference to the Universe; it necessarily follows that no nature can be taken as the true Form unless it always decreases when the nature in question decreases, and in like manner always increases when the nature in question increases. This Table I call the Table of Degrees [Tabula Graduum] or the Table of Comparisons. (Nov. Org. II, 13: I, 248; IV, 137; cf. also Nov. Org. II, 17: I, 257f.; IV, 146) As we see, then, there is no qualitative gulf between Forms and natures, and some of the latter can be promoted to the rank of Forms. This is so, as we saw in Novum Organum II, 20, whenever we find the constructivist stance built in within the Baconian formula. The notion it purports to portray in both aphorisms (II, 13, 20) is not that scientific truth may be utilized or deployed in, say, technological achievements, but that truth itself, understood now as a process inseparable from manipulation, necessarily conveys that very constructivist component: the Form is real, internal and with reference to the Universe as any genuine rule of action should be. No wonder, then, that ‘in this sense truth and utility are the very same things’ (in hoc genere ipsissimae res sunt veritas et utilitas: Nov. Org. I, 124). This is a far cry from any utilitarian and, qua utilitarian, reductionist credo, for truth, in Bacon’s ideal, may be ‘useful’ but is always conceived as a result or spring of an axiologically neutral manipulation (uti, utilitas). Thus, it does not convey the evaluative tenor associated with utilitarianism in its historical forms.50 It goes without saying that the reception of all these doctrines was entirely biased in favour of utilitarian and pragmatic considerations, so that, paradoxically, the ferocious satire of Jonathan Swift against the inventors of Lagado was not the brainchild of the writer’s deranged imagination: the promises of real ‘usefulness’, both by the Royal Society and by its sister association, the Académie des Sciences, were soon sorely disappointed.51 In sum, Bacon’s notion of truth detaches itself from the theoretically inclined spirit of the greatest part of Western philosophical discourse and recaptures that subterranean current of thought to which allusion was made at the outset: maker’s knowledge versus beholder’s or user’s. To engage actively in the processes of Nature mirrors the systematically held conviction not only that such an engagement is legitimate—a conviction which in its turn corresponds to a certain image of Nature qua object of human construction or fabrication52—but also that only from such an active engagement can truth emerge. Theoretically speaking, Bacon’s epistemology is impeccably gradualist, as L.Jonathan Cohen remarks,53 but it ceases to be so from the moment we reflect that each pronouncement, each general statement, each axioma has to be truth-producing at any level if we are genuinely after manipulative success. It hardly needs to be pointed out that all this remains an ideal, for Bacon does not even attempt to teach us how precisely we can manipulate those corpuscles he postulates as existing in each body in order to achieve this or that ‘effect’. His recipes in Novum Organum or in other places (e.g. in III, 240) seem the imaginative or fantastic projection of a magus’ mentality. But this would be, I think, a rather jejune line of criticism for a philosophically minded hermeneutic to take. Knowledge, we saw, operates with ideas as much as with ideals. If indeed Bacon failed on that particular account, the crucial point to remember is that the tradition he bequeathed to Western philosophy, in the hands of other philosophers and scientists less prone to such visionary flights of fancy, succeeded where he only sowed the seeds of its desiderata. That is, after all, a tradition that, for better or worse, our world appears to have made its own in its utilitarian, scientistic and technocratic versions. In his indictment against the philosophers of the past, Bacon wrote in the Preface to De Interpretatione Naturae that they did not even teach man ‘what to wish’. This criticism backfires dangerously when we consider that the realm of desires, that is, of values and priorities, is by no means dependent on nor results from any theoretically informed epistemology, no matter how brilliant its merits or how eloquent its proponents. Bacon’s world, if we judge by the scattered remarks left in the unfinished Nova Atlantis, does not show its credentials of desirability in the apodictic manner that the Lord Chancellor expected. ‘To assuage human suffering and miseries’ is one thing; to maintain that the technocratic control over Nature—a control secretly wielded by a handful of men —provides the sole manner of fulfilment of the above desire is quite another. Bacon failed to work out the notion that all that wonderful machinery, that is, the realm of human art, could, however well administered, control its own controller some fateful day. It could, that is, engender a logic of its own and, as in Samuel Butler’s nightmare,54 become a parallel or second nature, as formidable to master as the first fallen Nature was. Bacon’s man seems therefore condemned to live in a menacing two-faced kingdom: the ship sailing beyond the pillars of Hercules that the philosopher chose as the frontispiece of his Novum Organum is not bound for a peaceful or uneventful voyage. To be both the master and the slave at her helm is not amongst the lesser premonitions of the Lord Chancellor’s dream. NOTES I cite Bacon from the standard edition of J.Spedding, R.L.Ellis and D.D.Heath, The Works of Francis Bacon, 14 vols (London, 1857–74; Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Friedrich Frommann, 1963). Bacon’s Philosophical Works are in vols 1–5 (Latin and English) and De Sapientia Veterum, misleadingly included in vol. 6 (pp. 605–764). References are to volume and page (as a rule both to the English and Latin), except when quoting from Novum Organum, where I have usually indicated Book and Aphorism. 1 Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie, in Werke, ed. E.Moldenhauer and K.M.Michel (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1971), pp. xviii–xx, xx, 76ff. Hegel repeatedly calls Bacon ‘der Heerführer der Erfahrungsphilosophen’ (‘the armyleader of the philosophers of experience’) and links his name to Locke and the so-called empiricists. Kuno Fischer, Franz Baco von Verulam: die Realphilosophie und ihr Zeitalter (Leipzig, 1856; 2nd edn, 1875), and Wilhelm Windeband and H.Heimsoeth, Lehrbuch der Geschichte der Philosophie (Tübingen, 1930), pp. 328ff.), do not depart substantially from Hegel’s views. Compare also H. E.Grimm, Zür Geschichte des Erkenntnisproblems. Von Baco zu Hume (Leipzig, 1890), and W.Frost, Bacon und die Naturphilosophie (München, 1927). Two very notable exceptions to the then prevalent approach are to be found in French authors: Charles de Rémusat, Bacon, sa vie, son temps, sa philosophie jusqu'à nos jours (Paris, 1857), and Charles Adam, Philosophie de François Bacon (Paris, 1890), esp. pp. 328ff. 2 cf. D.F.Norton, ‘The Myth of British Empiricism’, History of European Ideas 1 (1981) 331–4; Shapiro [4.75]; H.G.van Leeuwen, The Problem of Certainty in English Thought (1630–1690) (The Hague, Nijhoff, 1963). 3 cf. Nicholas Jardine, ‘Epistemology of the Sciences’, in C.B.Schmitt and Q. Skinner (eds), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 685–712, at p. 685. Compare also M. N.Morris, ‘Science as Scientia’, Physis 23 (1981) 171–96, and S.Ross, ‘“Scientist”: the Story of a Word’, Annals of Science 18 (1964) 65–85. 4 cf. R.Yeo, ‘An Idol of the Market Place: Baconianism in 19th-century England’, History of Science 23 (1985) 251–98; Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 7–30. 5 Apud R.C.Cochrane, ‘Francis Bacon and the Rise of the Mechanical Arts in 18thcentury England’, Annals of Science 11 (1956) 137–56, at p. 156. Compare also A.Finch, On the Inductive Philosophy: Including a Parallel between Lord Bacon and A.Comte as Philosophers (London, 1872). 6 I. Lakatos, ‘Changes in the Problem of Inductive Logic’, in his The Problem of Inductive Logic (Amsterdam, 1968), pp. 315–427, at p. 318; A.Koyré, Etudes d’histoire de la pensée scientifique (Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1966). To speak of Bacon as one of the founding fathers of modern science, Koyré argues on p. 7, would be a mauvaise plaisanterie. 7 Francis Bacon. From Magic to Science [4.70]. This book is a turning point as regards the revival of Baconian studies in our century. 8 For an example of this kind of literature, cf. Farrington [4.35]; Christopher Hill, The Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution (Oxford, 1965); Frances Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (London, Routledge, 1972); Lisa Jardine [4.45]. 9 Dictionary of the History of Ideas, 4 vols, chief ed. P.Wiener (New York, 1968– 73), s.v. Baconianism, i, pp. 172–9, at p. 172. 10 ‘Mathematical versus Experimental Tradition in Western Science’, The Essential Tension (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1977), pp. 31–66, esp. pp. 41–52. 11 On the notion of ‘scientific style’, cf. Crombie [4.25]. 12 cf. T.S.Kuhn, note 10; Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 33ff. 13 L.Jonathan Cohen, The Implications of Induction (London, Methuen, 1970); The Probable and the Provable (Oxford, 1977); [4.22], 219–31; ‘What has Inductive Logic to Do with Causality’, in L.J.Cohen and M.B.Hesse (eds) Applications of Inductive Logic (Oxford, Clarendon, 1980); An Introduction to the Philosophy of Induction and Probability (Oxford, 1988). Some of Cohen’s ideas about Bacon’s ‘inductive’ gradualism seem to have been foreshadowed by J.M.Keynes in A Treatise on Probability (first published London, Macmillan, 1929), ed. R.B.Braithwaite (London, Macmillan, 1973), esp. pp. 299ff. 14 A brief and accurate description of Bacon’s gnoseological plan is given by M. B.Hesse in ‘Francis Bacon’s Philosophy of Science’, in Vickers [4.14], 114–39, esp. p. 114. This plan should proceed as follows: (1) The classification of the sciences. (2) Directions concerning the Interpretation of Nature; i.e. the new inductive logic. (3) The Phenomena Universi, or natural history. (4) The Ladder of the Intellect, that is, examples of the application of the method in climbing from Phenomena on the ladder of axioms to the ‘Summary Law of Nature’. (5) Anticipations of the New Philosophy, that is, tentative generalizations which Bacon considers of insufficient interest and importance to justify him in leaping ahead of the inductive method. (6) The New Philosophy or Active Science, which will exhibit the whole result of induction in an ordered system of axioms. If men will apply themselves to this method, Bacon thinks that the system will be the result of a few years’ work, but for himself, he confesses, ‘the completion of this last part is a thing both above my strength and beyond my hopes’ (iv, 22, 32, 102, 252). (apud Hesse [4.14], 115f.) Compare also Ducasse [4.33], 50–74. W.SchmidtBiggeman places this and other epistemic projects in a wider context: Topica Universalis. Eine Modellgeschichte humanistischer und baroker Wissenschaft (Hamburg, 1983), esp. pp. 212ff. 15 Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 18ff.; M.Malherbe, ‘Bacon, L’Encyclopédie et la Révolution’, Etudes Philosophiques (1985) 387–404, esp. pp. 392ff. 16 cf. Charles Whitney, Francis Bacon and Modernity (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986), passim; ‘Francis Bacon’s Instauratio: Dominion of and over Humanity’, Journal of the History of Ideas 48 (1989), esp. pp. 377ff. 17 Whitney, ‘Francis Bacon’s Instauratio…’ op. cit., p. 386. 18 cf. Karl Mannheim, Ideologie und Utopie (Bonn, F.Cohen, 2nd edn, 1930), pp. 14f. Hans Barth, Truth and Ideology (1945, 1961), trans. F.Lilge (Los Angeles, Calif., University of California Press, 1976), disputes Mannheim’s claim. Compare in general R.Boudon, L’Idéologie. L’origine des idées reçues (Paris, 1980), esp. pp. 53ff. 19 cf. B.Vickers, ‘Bacon’s So-called “Utilitarianism”: Sources and Influence’, in Fattori [4.12], 281–314. 20 cf. Vinzenz Rüfner, ‘Homo secundus deus. Eine geistesgeschichtliche Etüde zum menschlichen Schöpfertum’, Philosophisches Jahrbuch 63 (1955) 248–91; Hans Blumenberg, ‘“Nachahmung der Natur”: zur Vorgeschichte des schöpferischen Menschen’, Stadium Generale 10 (1957) 266–83. 21 Philosophisch-Theologische Schriften, ed. L.Gabriel, 3 vols (Vienna, 1967), iii, De Beryllo, pp. 8f., 68ff., De Possest, pp. 318f. Compare Charles H.Lohr, ‘Metaphysics’, The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, op. cit., pp. 548–56. Compare also Blumenberg, op. cit., passim; and, especially, Aspekte der Epochenschwelle. Cusanus und Nolanus (Frankfurt-am-Main, 2nd edn, 1968), pp. 34–108. The example of the spoon appears in Idiota de mente. 22 Tantum scis quam operabis, in Satellitum Mentis, Opera Omnia, ed. G.Mayans, 8 vols (Valencia, 1782–90), iv, 63. On the influence of Vives’s views on Bacon’s conception of logic, cf. Maurice B.McNamie, ‘Bacon’s Inductive Method and Humanist Grammar’, Studies in the Literary Imagination 4 (1971) 81–106. 23 Gerolamus Cardanus (Cardano), Opera Omnia, ed. C.Spon, 10 vols (Lugduni, 1663), introduction to the facsimile edition by A.Beck; cf. De Arcanis Aeternitatis, cap. iv; also i, 597, and iii, 21ff. 24 cf. Rodolfo Mondolfo, Il verum factum prima di Vico (Naples, Guida, 1969), ch. 3. 25 Tratados Filosóficos (Latin/Portuguese), introduction and notes by A.M.de Sa; Portuguese translation by B.de Vasconcelos and M.P.de Meneses (Lisbon, 1955), pp. 4–157; cf. also Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 58, and Part III, passim, for the sceptical understanding of that ideal in (early) modern philosophy. 26 ‘Where there has always been the power to make, there has always been, too, the power of being made, produced and created [onde se è sempre stata la potenza di fare, di produrre, sempre è stata la potenza di esser fatto, produto (sic) e creato]’ (Delia Causa, principio ed uno, III, in Dialoghi Metafisici, ed. Giovanni Gentile, 2 vols (Florence, 1985), i, 280ff. Compare especially this passage from Lo Spaccio della Bestia Trionfante, vol. i: The gods have given [man] intellect and hands and have made him similar to them, giving him power over other animals. This consists in his being able not only to operate according to Nature and to what is usual, but also to operate outside the normal course of Nature [poter operare secondo la Natura ed ordinario ma ed oltre, fuor le leggi di quella], in order that by forming new or being able to form other natures, other paths and other categories with his intelligence [ingegno] by means of that liberty…he would succeed in preserving himself as god of the Earth…. And for that reason Providence has determined that he will be occupied in action by means of his hands and in contemplation by means of his intellect, so that he will not contemplate without act and will not act without contemplation. (The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, trans. A.D.Imerti (New York, 1964), p. 205) I have slightly modified the translation. 27 ‘Die Natur dahin gebracht werden [muss], daß Sie selbst erweist’, Opus Paramirum (c. 1530), apud Werner Kutscher, Der Wissenschaftler und sein Körper (Frankfurtam- Main, 1986), p. 111. 28 Giuseppe Ceredi, Tre discorsi sopra il modo d’alzar acque da luoghi bassi (Parma, 1567), pp. 5–7, apud A.C.Crombie, ‘Expectation, Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics: Part I. Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 21 (1990) 605–33, at p. 605. 29 Hans Blumenberg, work cited in note 20, ad finem, and, more generally, Die Legitimität der Neuzeit (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1983; English translation, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1986), Part 3, and Robert Lenoble, Histoire de l’idée de Nature (Paris, A.Michel, 1969), esp. pp. 311ff. As Lenoble stresses, in the perception of Nature one should never ignore or undervalue the pathos that usually presupposes and/or conveys a ‘scientific style’. In the words of F. Anderson, for Bacon all statements of observation and experiment are to be written in truth and with religious care, as if the writer were under oath and devoid of reservation of doubt and question. The record is the book of God’s works and—so far as there may be an analogy between the majesty of divine things and the humbleness of earthly things—is a kind of second Scripture. (Anderson [4.17], 264) 30 A.Funkenstein, Theology and the Scientific Imagination (Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1986), esp. pp. 29off.; and my essay on this book ‘And Justify the Ways of God to Men’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 21 (1990) 323–39. 31 For such archetypes, see Plato, Cratylus 390 A, Euthydemus 289 A–D, Republic 601 E-602 A; and Aristotle, Politica 128 a 17ff. J.Hintikka has studied this question in Knowledge and the Known (Dordrecht and Boston, Reidel, 1974), passim, and has been criticized by J.L.Mackie in ‘A Reply to Hintikka’s Article “Practical versus Theoretical Reason”, in S.Körner (ed.) Practical Reason (New Haven, Conn., Yale University Press, 1974), pp. 103–13. For a profound anthropological insight into that archetype (the maker is the knower par excellence), cf. Mircea Eliade, Forgerons et Alchimistes (Paris, Flammarion, 1956), ch. x: homo faber and homo sapiens coincide for the faber knows in the most obvious and convincing way, i.e. by doing, making or producing things. 32 cf. W.Krohn, ‘Social Change and Epistemic Thought (Reflections on the Origins of the Experimental Method)’, in I.Hronsky, M.Fehér and B.Dajka (eds) Scientific Knowledge Socialized (Dordrecht, 1988), pp. 165–78: ‘The goal of the new science is a knowledge by which “one will be capable of all manner of works” (omnis operum potentia) in contrast with the “felicitous contemplation” (felicitas contemplativa) of classical philosophy (I, 144; IV, 32). For Bacon, causes are related to knowledge just as rules are to action. The equivalence between the knowledge of causes and the ability to produce something can be regarded in both directions: not only are our actions more manageable as a result of the knowledge of the laws of Nature, but the laws of Nature can be understood better when our point of departure is not the observation of Nature, but the vexationes artis, Nature under constraint and vexed (I, 140; IV, 29)…. This makes his [i.e. Bacon’s] turning from Aristotle that much more noticeable, as his claim that a condition for the understanding of Nature is our interfering with it is irreconcilable with the Aristotelian concept of knowledge…. According to Bacon, laws have to be investigated with a view to the type of praeceptum (doctrine), directio (direction), deductio (guidance) one needs to produce something’ (I, 229; IV, 124, pp. 171f.) Paolo Rossi had already stressed this point ([4.71], esp. Appendix ii, ‘Truth and Utility in Bacon’, pp. 148–73). For an exegesis of the crucial term opus/work, cf. Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 135–49. 33 cf. Karl-Otto Apel, ‘Das Problem einer philosophischen Theorie der Rationalitätstypen’, in G.H.Schnädelbach (ed.), Rationalität (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1984) pp. 15–31. 34 cf. G.Buchdahl, Induction and Necessity in the Philosophy of Aristotle (London, 1963); ‘Die bei Aristoteles’, Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Phil.-hist. Klasse) (1964); W.Schmidt, Theorie der Induktion: Die prinzipielle Bedeutung der epag g bei Aristoteles (Munich, 1974); Nelly Tsouyopoulos, ‘Die Induktive Methode und das Induktionsproblem in der griechischen Philosophie’, Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 5 (1974) 94–122; J.R.Milton, ‘Induction before Hume’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (1987) 49–74, esp. pp. 58ff.; C.C.W.Taylor, ‘Aristotle’s Epistemology’, in Stephen Everson (ed.), Epistemology (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 116–42. 35 See Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 72–82, for examples taken from Petrus Hispanus to Albert the Great and Aquinas. 36 Most notably, J.S.Mill, ‘Of Inductions Improperly So-called’, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive (first published 1843; London, 1884), III, 2, pp. 188– 99. 37 cf. Wilhelm Risse, Logik der Neuzeit, 2 vols (Stuttgart, Frommann, 1964), I, passim. 38 cf. W.Schmidt-Biggeman, op. cit.; M.B.Hesse, ‘Francis Bacon’s Philosophy of Science’, in Vickers [4.14], esp. pp. 212–31. 39 ‘Nous nous complétons, Vérulamius et moi. Mes conseils serviront à étayer dans ses grandes lignes l’explication de l’univers; ceux de Vérulamius permettront de préciser les détails pour les expériences nécessaires’, Oeuvres de Descartes, ed. G.Adam and P.Tannery, 12 vols (Paris, 1897–1910), i, 318; cf. also ii, 597f., and iii, 307. For other references amongst continental philosophers and the Cartesian perception of Bacon, cf. A.I.Sabba, Theories of Light from Descartes to Newton (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn, 1982), pp. 33ff., esp. pp. 170– 80. For a different approach, cf. Malherbe, ‘L’induction baconienne: de l’échec métaphysique à l’échec logique’, in Fattori [4.12], 179–200. 40 F.Kambartel, Erfharung und Struktur. Bausteine zu einer Kritik des Empirismus und Formalismus (Frankfurt-am-Main, 2nd edn, 1976), pp. 81ff., on the notion of historia and the various senses of experientia (vaga, literata,…); cf. Malherbe, ‘L’expérience et l’induction chez Bacon’, Malherbe and Pousseur [4.13], 113–34. 41 Cohen, An Introduction…(cited in note 13), p. 195. 42 The felicitous phrase experimentum crucis is not Bacon’s but Boyle’s. He first used it in Defence of the Doctrine touching the Spring and Weight of the Air (1662). Others attribute its (independent) coinage to Robert Hooke in Micrographia (1665). 43 For these procedures, cf. Horton [4.43], 241–78, and Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 243–54. 44 Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 257. Reproduced by kind permission of Oxford University Press. 45 This principle (as against the sole principle of instantiation) appears as much in inductivist epistemologies as the modus tollens procedures; cf. J.S.Mill, A System of Logic, III, 10, 10, and Adolf Grünbaum, ‘Is Falsifiability the Touchstone of Scientific Rationality? Karl Popper versus Inductivism’, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 39 (1976) 213–52. For a detailed account, stressing this aspect of Bacon’s ars inveniendi, cf. Peter Urbach [4.77], where Bacon is presented as a proto-Popperian. See my criticism of this book: ‘Francis Bacon and the Disputations of the Learned’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (1991) in press. 46 cf. Emerton [4.32], 76–105. A comprehensive summary of the whole learned dispute is to be found in Pérez-Ramos [4.62], 116f., nn. 4 and 6. 47 Peter Alexander admirably sums up the whole issue in Ideas, Qualities and Corpuscles. Locke and Boyle on the External World (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985). For the doctrines contained in university manuals, cf. P.Reif, ‘The Textbook Tradition in Natural Philosophy’, Journal of the History of Ideas 30 (1968) 17–32. 48 Sometimes this view was expressly linked to the Aristotelian doctrine of the four elements: cf. Alexander on Daniel Sennert, op. cit, p. 36. 49 cf. R.Macciò, ‘A proposito dell’atomismo di Francesco Bacone’, Rivista Critica di Storia della Filosofia 17 (1962) 188–96; Kargon [4.47]; and especially the erudite researches of J.Rees, ‘Francis Bacon’s Semiparacelsian Cosmology and the Great Instoration’, Ambix 22 (1975) 161–73; ‘Atomism and Subtlety in Francis Bacon’s Philosophy’, Ambix 37 (1981) 27–37. Compare my nuanced criticism of Rees’s approach in ‘Bacon in the Right Spirit’, Annals of Science 42 (1985) 603–11. 50 Vickers, in Fattori [4.12], 281–314. 51 Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (first published 1726; London, Dent, 1970), Part III, ch. V, pp. 190–205. On the sources of the Academy of Lagado, cf.A. E.Case, ‘Personal and Political: Satire in Gulliver’s Travels’ (1945), in Jonathan Swift, ed. D.Donoghue (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1971), pp. 335ff. On contemporary charges of sterility against the new science, cf. M.Hunter, Science and Society in Restoration England (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981), esp. pp. 188– 93. 52 cf. Lenoble (cited in note 29), pp. 217–77. 53 See, amongst other places, Cohen, An Introduction…(cited in note 13), pp. 4–12, 145–75. 54 Erewhon (first published 1872; London, 1951) ‘The Book of the Machines’, ch. XXIIII, pp. 142ff. The literature concerning the political and social implications of the Baconian project is immense; cf. W.Leiss, The Domination of Nature (New York, Braziller, 1972), pp. 45–71; J.R.Ravetz, ‘Francis Bacon and the Reform of Philosophy’ (1972), in The Merger of Knowledge with Power. Essays in Critical Science (London, 1990), pp. 116–36; Timothy Paterson, ‘Bacon’s Myth of Orpheus. Power as a Goal of Science in Of the Wisdom of the Ancients’, Interpretation 16 (1989) 429–44. For a different philosophical idiolect, cf. T.W.Adorno and M.Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. J. Cumming (first published 1944; New York, Herder and Herder, 1972). BIBLIOGRAPHY Standard editions 4.1 The Works of Francis Bacon: Latin and English, ed. with introduction and commentaries by J.Spedding, R.L.Ellis and D.D.Heath (first published London, 1857–74; reprinted Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Friedrich Frommann, 1961–3). The philosophical works are in vols 1–5; De Sapientia Veterum, mistakenly considered as a literary work, is in vol. 6 with the Essays. The remaining volumes (7–14) are devoted to the literary and professional works, letters and life. This is the standard edition and, although there is an American counterpart (Boston, 1860–4), its pagination is generally used. Selections and separate works 4.2 Francis Bacon: Selections with Essays, by M. and S.R.Gardiner, ed. P.E. and E.F.Matheson, Oxford, Clarendon, 1964. 4.3 Francis Bacon: A Selection of his Works, ed. S.Warhaft, New York, Odyssey, 1970. 4.4 Francis Bacon: Selected Writings, introduction and notes by H.G.Dick, New York, Modern Library, 1955. 4.5 The Advancement of Learning and New Atlantis, ed. Arthur Johnson, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1974; reprinted, 1980, 1986. 4.6 Novum Organum, ed. with introduction and notes by Thomas Fowler, Oxford, 1878. This gives the Latin text only, but is surely the best edition. 4.7 The New Organon and Related Writings, ed. F.Anderson, Indianapolis, Ind., Bobbs- Merrill, 1960. Bibliographies and concordances Bibliographies 4.8 Gibson, G.W. Francis Bacon: A Bibliography of his Works and of Baconiana to the year 1750, Oxford, Scrivener Press, 1950; Supplement 1959. 4.9 Rossi, P. ‘Per una bibliografia degli scritti su Francesco Bacone’, Rivista Critica di Storia di Filosofia 12 (1957) 75–89; Appendix, Rivista Critica di Storia di Filosofia 29 (1974) 44–51. 4.10 Totok, W. Handbuch der Geschichte der Philosophie, Frankfurt-am-Main, Klostermann, 1964–81, vol. 2, pp. 473–85. This is perhaps the best bibliographical essay as regards the distribution of works on Bacon according to specific headings and books. Concordances 4.11 Fattori, M. Lessico del Novum Organum di Francesco Bacone, Rome, Ateneo e Bizarri, 2 vols, 1980. Books and articles dealing with Bacon’s philosophy and influence Collective works 4.12 Fattori, M. (ed.) Francis Bacon. Terminologia e fortuna nel xvii secolo, Rome, 1984. 4.13 Malherbe, M. and Pousseur, J.-M. (eds) Francis Bacon. Science et méthode, Paris, Vrin, 1985. 4.14 Vickers, B. (ed.) Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon, London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1972. With further bibliography. 4.15 Les Etudes Philosophiques, 1985 (monograph on Bacon). 4.16 Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 40 (1986) (monograph on Bacon). Individual authors 4.17 Anderson, F. The Philosophy of Francis Bacon, Chicago, Ill., University of Chicago Press, 1948. 4.18 Berns, L. ‘Francis Bacon and the Conquest of Nature’, Interpretation 7 (1978) 36–48. 4.19 Bierman, J. ‘Science and Society in the New Atlantis and other Renaissance Utopias’, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 78 (1963) 492–500. 4.20 Broad, C.D. ‘The Philosophy of Francis Bacon’ (1926), Ethics and the History of Philosophy, London, Routledge, 1952, 117–43. 4.21 Buchdahl, G. ‘The Natural Philosophie’, in R.Hall (ed.) The Making of Modern Science , Leicester, Leicester University Press, 1960, 9–16. 4.22 Cohen, L.J. ‘Some Historical Remarks on the Baconian Conception of Probability’, Journal of the History of Ideas 41 (1980) 219–31. 4.23 Cohen, M.R. ‘Bacon and the Inductive Method’, Studies in Philosophy and Science, New York, Holt, 1949, 99–106. 4.24 Crescini, A. Il problema metodologico alle origine della scienza moderna, Rome, Edizioni dell’Atenco, 1972. 4.25 Crombie, A.C. Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition, London, 1991. 4.26 Dangelmayr, S. Methode und System: Wissenschaftsklassifikation bei Bacon, Hobbes und Locke, Meisenheim-am-Glan, Anton Hain, 1974. 4.27 DeMas, E. Francis Bacon, Florence, La Nuova Italia, 1978. 4.28 Dickie, W.M. ‘A Comparison of the Scientific Method and Achievement of Aristotle and Bacon’, Philosophical Review 31 (1922) 471–94. 4.29 Dickie, W.M. ‘“Form” and “Simple Nature” in Bacon’s Philosophy’, The Monist 33 (1923) 428–37. 4.30 Dieckmann, H. ‘The Influence of Francis Bacon on Diderot’s L’Interprétation de la Nature’, Romanic Review 34 (1943) 305–30. 4.31 Dieckmann, H. ‘La storia naturale da Bacone a Diderot’, Rivista di Filosofia 67 (1976) 217–43. 4.32 Dijksterhuis, E.J. The Mechanisation of the World Picture, trans. C. Dikshoorn, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1961. 4.33 Ducasse, C.J. ‘Francis Bacon’s Philosophy of Science’, in E.H.Madden (ed.) Theories of Scientific Method from the Renaissance through the Nineteenth Century, Seattle, Wash., University of Washington Press, 1966, 50–74. 4.34 Emerton, N.E. The Scientific Reinterpretation of Form, Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press, 1984. 4.35 Farrington, B. Francis Bacon: Philosopher of Industrial Science, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1951. 4.36 Farrington, B. The Philosophy of Francis Bacon: An Essay on its Development from 1603 to 1609, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1964. 4.37 Fattori, M. ‘Des natures simples chez Francis Bacon’, Recherches sur le XVIIe siècle 5 (1982) 67–75. 4.38 Fisch, H. and Jones, H.W. ‘Bacon’s Influence on Sprat’s History of the Royal Society’, Modern Language Quarterly 12 (1951) 399–406. 4.39 Gilbert, N.W. Renaissance Concepts of Method, New York, Columbia University Press, 1960. 4.40 Harrison, C.T. ‘Bacon, Hobbes, Boyle and the Ancient Atomists’, Harvard Studies and Notes on Literature 15 (1933) 191–218. 4.41 Hattaway, M. ‘Bacon and “Knowledge Broken”: Limits for Scientific Method’, Journal of the History of Ideas 40 (1979) 183–97. 4.42 Hill, C. The Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1965. 4.43 Horton, M. ‘In Defence of Francis Bacon: A Criticism of the Critics of the Inductive Method’, Studies in the History and the Philosophy of Science 4 (1973) 241–78. 4.44 Hossfeld, P. ‘Francis Bacon und die Entwicklung der naturwissenschaftlichen Methode’, Philosophia Naturalis 4 (1957) 140–50. 4.45 Jardine, L. Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1974. 4.46 Jones, R.S. Ancients and Moderns, St Louis, Mo., Washington University Press, 1961. 4.47 Kargon, R. Atomism in England from Hariot to Newton, Oxford, Clarendon, 1966. 4.48 Kotarbi′ ski, T. ‘The Development of the Main Problem in the Methodology of Francis Bacon’, Studia Philosophica (Lodz) 1 (1935) 107–37. 4.49 Lamacchia, A. ‘Una questione dibattuta: probabili fonti dell’ enciclopedia baconiana’ , Rivista Critica di Storia delta Filosofia 39 (1984) 725–40. 4.50 Larsen, R.E. ‘The Aristotelianism of Bacon’s Novum Organum’, Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (1962) 435–50. 4.51 Lemni, C.W. Classical Deities in Bacon: A Study in Mythological Symbolism, Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1933. 4.52 Levi, A. Il Pensiero de Francesco Bacone, Turin, Paravia, 1925. 4.53 Linguiti, G.I. ‘Induzione e deduzione: riesame del Bacone popperiano’, Rivista di Filosofia 69 (1978) 499–515. 4.54 Luxembourg, L.K. Francis Bacon and Denis Diderot: Philosophers of Science, Copenhagen, Munksgaard, 1967. 4.55 Maccio, R. ‘A proposito dell’ atomismo nel Novum Organum di Bacone’, Rivista Critica di Storia delta Filosofia 17 (1962) 188–96. 4.56 McRae, R. The Problem of the Unity of the Sciences from Bacon to Kant, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1961. 4.57 Merton, R.K. Science, Technology and Society in 17th-century England (first published in 1938 as Part 2 of vol. 4 of Osiris; new edn, New York, Fertig, 1970). 4.58 Milton, J.R. ‘Induction before Hume’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (1987) 49–74. 4.59 Morrison, J.C. ‘Philosophy and History in Bacon’, Journal of the History of Ideas 38 (1977) 585–606. 4.60 Park, K., Danston, L.J. and Galison, P.L. ‘Bacon, Galileo and Descartes on Imagination and Analogy’, Isis 75 (1984) 287–326. 4.61 Penrose, S.B.L. The Reputation and Influence of Francis Bacon in the Seventeenth Century, New York, Columbia University Press, 1934. 4.62 Pérez-Ramos, A. Francis Bacon’s Idea of Science and the Maker’s Knowledge Tradition, Oxford, Clarendon, 1988. 4.63 Popkin, R. The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, revised edn., 1979. 4.64 Primack, M. ‘Outline of a Reinterpretation of Francis Bacon’s Philosophy’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 5 (1965) 122–33. 4.65 Quinton, A. Francis Bacon, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1980. 4.66 Rattansi, P.M. ‘The Intellectual Origins of the Royal Society’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society 23 (1968) 129–43. 4.67 Rees, G. ‘Francis Bacon’s Semi-Paracelsian Cosmology and the Great Instauration’, Ambix 22 (1975) 161–73. 4.68 Rees, G. ‘Atomism and Subtlety in Francis Bacon’s Philosophy’, Annals of Science 37 (1980) 549–71. 4.69 Righini-Bonelli, M.L. ‘Trends of Interpretation of Seventeenth-Century Science’, in M.L.Righini-Bonelli and W.R.Shea (eds) Reason, Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution, New York, 1975, 1–15. 4.70 Rossi, P. Francis Bacon: from Magic to Science (1st edn (in Italian), 1957), trans. S.Rabinovitch, London, Routledge, 1968. 4.71 Rossi, P. Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Modern Era (first published as I filosofi e le macchine, 1962), trans. S.Attanasio, New York, Harper & Row, 1970. 4.72 Sargent, R.M. ‘Robert Boyle’s Baconian Inheritance: A Response to Laudan’s Cartesian Thesis’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 17 (1986) 469–86. 4.73 Schmidt, G. ‘Ist Wissen Macht? Uber die Aktualität von Bacons Instauratio Magna’, Kantstudien 58 (1967) 481–98. 4.74 Schuhl, P.M. Machinisme et Philosophie, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2nd edn, 1947. 4.75 Shapiro, B. Probability and Certainty in 17th-Century England; A Study of the Relationships between Natural Science, Religion, History, Law and Literature, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1983. 4.76 Thorndike, L. History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Macmillan, 8 vols, 1923–58. 4.77 Urbach, P. Francis Bacon’s Philosophy of Science, La Salle, Ill., Open Court, 1987. 4.78 Vasoli, C. L’enciclopedismo del Seicento, Naples, 1978. 4.79 Viano, C. ‘Esperienza e Natura nella filosofia di Francesco Bacone’, Rivista di Filosofia 45 (1954) 291–313. 4.80 Wallace, K. Francis Bacon on the Nature of Man, Urbana, Ill., University of Illinois Press, 1967. 4.81 Walton, C. ‘Ramus and Bacon on Method’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 9 (1971) 289–302. 4.82 Webster, C. The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform (1626–1660), London, Holmes & Meier, 1975. 4.83 Weinberger, J. ‘Science and Rule in Bacon’s Utopia: An Introduction to the Reading of the New Atlantis’, American Political Science Review 70 (1976) 865–85. 4.84 White, H.B. ‘The Influence of Francis Bacon on the philosophes’, Studies on Voltaire and the 18th Century 27 (1963) 1849–69. 4.85 White, H.B. Peace among the Willows: the Political Philosophy of Francis Bacon, The Hague, Nijhoff, 1968. 4.86 Wolff, E. Francis Bacon und seine Quellen, 2 vols, Berlin, 1913; Liechtenstein, Nendeln, 1977. 4.87 Wood, N. ‘The Baconian Character of Locke’s Essay’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 6 (1970) 43–84. 4.88 Wood, P.B. ‘Methodology and Apologetics: Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society’, British Journal of the History of Science 13 (1980) 1926. N.B. This bibliography does not include all the books and articles to which allusion has been made in this chapter, since many of them did not deal specifically with Bacon’s philosophy or, if they did, their reference has already been given.
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