FRANCIS BACON
AND
SOCIALIZED SCIENCE

by

Antoinette Mann Paterson
Professor Department of Philosophy

State University of New York
College at Buffalo, NY

1973


CONTENTS

Preface

vii

Introduction

3

Chapter
One. METHOD OF LEARNING RE-FORMED

1. Regulated Observation

13

2. Corrected Anticipation

19

3. Legitimate Interpretation

31

4. Copernicus and Bacon's Socialized Science

38

Two. METHOD OF TRADITION RE-FORMED

1. Regulated Observation

43

2. Corrected Anticipation

58

3.Legitimate Interpretation

67

Three. LEARNED GOVERNOR

1. Regulated Observation

83

2. Corrected Anticipation

99

3. Legitimate Interpretation

110

Four. THE AGE OF TRANSFORMATION (1400-2000)

1.Bacon's Legacy

129

2. Facts in History Versus Historical Facts

139

3. "Congenial" Research and "Congenial" Teaching

149

Appendices

A. Copernicus and Bacon's Socialized Science

159

B. The Tobie Matthew Letter

160

Bibliography

161

Index

173

 

From the Book Jacket:
In this book, Francis Bacon is evaluated from within the boundaries of his own times. His work is understood as part of a profound transformation era (1400-2000) in which we are still struggling for human balance.
Bacon's actual functioning in England during his lifetime provides the context within which his work matures. The foundations of seventeenth century English natural and social sciences are understood as they emerged from the work and the writings of the sixteenth century and its world context.
The study stands opposed to the scholastic or nationalistic historical literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries which presents highly interpretative narratives of the sixteenth centur
y and Bacon. In this book, these historical accounts of Bacon are understood as generally inadequate for serious analytic study or evaluation of the Baconian contribution.
Bacon's work and life are studied in this volume as they relate to the Continental works in which they were emeshed. This book offers open minded scholars and students a fresh perspective on Bacon which is inaugurated from the events of the sixteenth century and its precursors.
The giant task of philosophical analysis of figures in the history of philosophy lies well ahead of us. The analysis must be written by philosphers in an atmosphere of academic freedom which enables them to work with the cultural realities of the period under analysis. This task cannot be accomplished if one substitutes the nationalistic or emotional rationale of successive generations for the raw data of a writer or his times.

______

Preface

The purpose of this book is to point up five main problems which have been responsible for the misunderstanding of the contribution of Francis Bacon to his times and to posterity. First, there is the claim made by scholars that Bacon promised a new method for the natural sciences and then did not deliver it. Second, there is the complete misunderstanding of what Bacon said about "anticipations"; even Fisher and Popper do not understand this. Third, there is the lack of understanding of the constitutive role which the natural philosophers of Italy played in Bacon's encyclopedia achievement. Fourth, the reconstruction of human science as Bacon recommended it needs to be understood as a reformed method of tradition; the sciences (physical and civil) were in dyamic interplay. This was based on the materializing of the metaphysical doctrine of the coincidence of contraries. Cusa wrote it, Bruno materialized it. Fifth, the role of encyclopedists during Bacon's lifetime has not been understood. These men were considered as subversives and collected avant-garde or condemned manuscripts at the risk of their lives. Bacon's faithful labor to keep these ideas alive and in circulation has never been understood. His success in causing much of this brave new thought to be integrated into legitimate cultural pursuit deserves honest recognition.
It has not seemed appropriate to weigh this book down with mountains of footnotes. The chapter on knowledge can be verified in Bacon's aphorisms which are in the Novum Organum. They are easy to read. The chapter on government can be verified in the Advancement of Learning. Most of the work of Bruno done in England in 1583-5 is available now in English. There is also my previous book on Bruno, The Infinite Worlds of Giordano Bruno.
No scholar can do it all. As Bruno pointed out : " It is enough that each man attempt the journey." I have attempted to set the record of Francis Bacon on a more correct path.
The author wishes to acknowledge the encouragement and understanding afforded this long project by Marvin Farber and Lynn E. Rose. Mention should be made of the opportunities afforded the author to discuss this material; William T. Parry, John Abrams, and Stillman Drake were helpful in this way.
The theses of this book are my own and the scholars acknowledged should not be held responsible for my views.
I would like to acknowledge the help of Janice Nuzzo, my former student, who worked on the bibliography, Karyn Conlon, who helped with the final typescript, and Elizabeth Morse, who typed the preliminary draft.

Buffalo, New York |

Antoinette Mann Paterson