Lecture 2- Intro to Bacon

Lecture 2- Intro to Bacon - I. Intro Bacon [I have used...

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I. Intro Bacon [I have used information from Encyclopedia Britannica for the Bacon presentation.] Sir Francis Bacon lord chancellor of England (1618–21). A lawyer, statesman, and philosopher. Powerful speaker in Parliament and in trials. Instauratio Magna /“Great Instauration” lays out a comprehensive plan to reorganize the sciences and to restore man to that mastery over nature that he was conceived to have lost by the fall of Adam. He’s in Elizabethan time, he’s not just a philosopher cause he’s a lawyer and a statesman. Bacon proposes radically transformed science. Science didn’t have a universal methodology (there is a monster in Africa). He claimed that science needed to be based on observations. In his work Bacon rejects what he calls ‘idols’ - causes of human error. He distinguishes four idols, or main varieties of proneness to error. The idols of the tribe are intellectual faults that are universal to mankind, or, at any rate, very common, for example a tendency toward oversimplification. The idols of the cave are the intellectual peculiarities of individuals. One person may concentrate on likenesses, another on differences between things. One may fasten on detail, another on the totality. The idols of the marketplace are the kinds of error for which language is responsible. Language is unreliable nature and suggests to us things that are not true, for example that the sun rises. Idols of the theatre are mistaken systems of philosophy. Bacon writes against the proposed opinion. He persuades his audience what he is saying should be adopted. Against the idols, Bacon musters a leading idea: Knowledge of nature is to rely on the findings of the senses. Bacon is convinced that the human mind is fitted for knowledge of nature and must derive it from observation, not from abstract reasoning. The method of science ought to be inductive. Generalizations are validated in an inductive way. II. Back to Aristotle. How does Bacon portray his character? The three pisteis: pathos feeling , ethos character , personality , logos argument . Ethos (1356a; I.2.4) : Positively: character traits, personal representation that persuade people to adopt or accept or endorse the speaker’s opinions, proposals or evaluations. Which traits will undermine a speaker’s appeal to character? Credence/credibility is the general trait: the speaker is a person who is worthy of credence (as concerns this subject.) Aristotle: practical intelligence ( phronêsis ), a virtuous character, and good will. My examples: experience, honesty, expertise, thoughtfulness, authority, previous good advice, authoritativeness (?), determinacy (?), be loved by audience (?). And the opposites: inexperience, dishonesty, rashness, insecurity, hesitation, disagreeable, hated by audience . . . Important: different qualities of speaker will be differently significant for issue: political decision, personal advice, expert witness, estimate, etc. An example from Bacon,
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Lecture 2- Intro to Bacon - I. Intro Bacon [I have used...

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