ILS essay - Emma Robinson ILS 206 Midterm Paper Essay...

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1Emma Robinson ILS 206 Midterm Paper Essay question #1 March 13, 2008 Philosophical Trailblazers Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes are the first modern thinkers who take a scientific approach to understanding the world around us. Both consider views of the ancients, recognize various flaws in these former modes of thought, and proceed to improve and enhance the vehicles through which knowledge is attained. Bacon devised the scientific method– an instrument with which anyone can attain knowledge and control over nature. Hobbes administered this instrument as a mathematical or scientific calculation of the political and social world. Their creation and utilization of this modern epistemology takes a giant leap away from the ancient world; its ramifications influencing the world we live in today. Bacon and Hobbes are “modern” because they change the epistemology of the ancients by means of method. Francis Bacon believes in hope as an equalitarian product of method. “...Greater labor will have to be spent in [induction] than has hitherto been spent on syllogism. And it is in this induction that our chief hope lies” (Bacon, 133). The method of induction is Bacon’s modern epistemology, opposing the ancient use of deductive reasoning in the formation of rules and ideas. Induction is Bacon’s tool for pulling down notions held by the Church; the conclusion that insufficiency of man is called ‘sin’ and cannot be amended. For Bacon, method allows for the correction of error. The ability to correct error provides hope for any man to gain knowledge, thus power, over nature. “The syllogism consists of propositions, propositions consist of words, words are symbols of notions. Therefore if the notions themselves (which is the root of the matter) are confused and overhastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no
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firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true induction” (Bacon, 91). Hobbes shares this belief in using induction to start from the bottom and work up to broader
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This note was uploaded on 05/11/2008 for the course ILS 206 taught by Professor Avramenko during the Spring '07 term at Wisconsin.

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ILS essay - Emma Robinson ILS 206 Midterm Paper Essay...

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