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Francis Bacon's doctrine of idols: a diagnosis of ‘universal madness’

  • S.V. WEEKS (a1)
Abstract

The doctrine of idols is one of the most famous aspects of Bacon's thought. Yet his claim that the idols lead to madness has gone almost entirely unnoticed. This paper argues that Bacon's theory of idols underlies his diagnosis of the contemporary condition as one of ‘universal madness’. In contrast to interpretations that locate his doctrine of error and recovery within the biblical narrative of the Fall, the present analysis focuses on the material and cultural sources of the mind's tendency towards error. It explains the idols in terms of Bacon's materialist psychology and his exposé of the debilitating effects of language and traditional learning. In so doing, it highlights the truly radical nature of the idols. For Bacon, the first step towards sanity was to alert people to the prevailing madness. The doctrine of idols was intended as a wake-up call, preparing the way for a remedy in the form of his new method of inquiry. The paper concludes by indicating how Bacon's method aimed to treat ‘universal madness’, and it suggests that his diagnosis influenced John Locke.

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This paper is dedicated to the memory of my teacher, colleague and friend Ken Belcher. I would like to thank John Christie, Richard Francks, J.B. Hall, Chris Kenny, Stephen Pumfrey, A.L. Ritchie, James Sharpe and the anonymous referees for their helpful comments. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Leverhulme Trust for granting me a research fellowship for the 2017–2018 academic year.

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1 Bacon, Francis, Temporis partus masculus, in The Works of Francis Bacon (ed. Spedding, James, Ellis, Robert Leslie and Douglas Denon Heath), 7 vols., London: Longman, 1857–1861, vol. 3, p. 529 (Latin original) (the volumes in this edition will hereafter be cited as SEH, with volume number). This text is translated in Farrington, Benjamin, The Philosophy of Francis Bacon: An Essay on Its Development from 1603 to 1609 with New Translations of Fundamental Texts, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1964, p. 62 (hereafter Farrington's translations will appear as PFB). Instances where I use my own translations or modify existing translations for the sake of clarity or precision are duly noted. Where translations of Bacon's early philosophical writings are not available in the Spedding edition or in Farrington's The Philosophy of Francis Bacon, I give my own translation.

2 Bacon, De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, p. 785 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘rationem cum insania, mundum cum fabula commutabit’. I have retained Bacon's gendered language throughout this paper.

3 Bacon, Advancement of Learning (ed. Kiernan, Michael) (Oxford Francis Bacon, vol. 4), Oxford: Clarendon, 2000, p. 30 (hereafter citations of the Oxford Francis Bacon texts with facing-page translations will appear as OFB, with volume number). See also Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 42), OFB 11, pp. 80–81; De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4), SEH 1, p. 645 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 433 (tr.). Michael Kiernan and Graham Rees (‘Commentary’, OFB 4, p. 231 and OFB 11, p. 509) suggest that Bacon may be referring to Sextus Empiricus, Against the Logicians, I, 133–134; see also Vickers, Brian, Francis Bacon: The Major Works, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 599.

4 See, for example, Brant, Sebastian's popular skit on the ‘ark of salvation’ as the Catholic Church, The Ship of Fools [1494] (tr. Barclay, Alexander, ed. Jamieson, T.H.), 2 vols., London: H. Sotheran & Co., 1874.

5 See, for instance, Campanella, ‘the world was driven mad by sin, and … the wise men, wanting to cure it, were forced to say, do, and live like the crazy ones, although they held another opinion secretly’, from Campanella, Tommaso, ‘Unarmed intellect in ancient wise men was subjected to the arms of madmen’, Scelta di alcune poesie filosofiche [1622], in Selected Philosophical Poems of Tommaso Campanella: A Bilingual Edition (ed. and tr. Roush, Sherry), Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011, pp. 6667; Francisco Sanches, ‘Is this not madness and insanity? Men who are said to “study Nature” do nothing less than study it, whereas they fight to the death about what X or Y meant to say, not what this or that is in Nature, and spend their entire lives on such questions’. Sanches, Francisco, Quod nihil scitur (That Nothing Is Known) [Lyon, 1581] (ed. and tr. Thomson, Douglas F.S.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 267, emphasis in original, see also pp. 40, 91.

6 Cicero, Paradoxa Stoicorum IV, in Cicero, On the Orator: Book 3. On Fate. Stoic Paradoxes. Divisions of Oratory (tr. H. Rackham), Loeb Classical Library (hereafter abbreviated as LCL) 349, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1942, pp. 278–279. See also Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium (XLI, 8) in Seneca, Epistles, vol. 1: Epistles 1–65 (tr. Richard M. Gummere), LCL 75, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1917, pp. 276–279: ‘what is it which this reason demands of him? The easiest thing in the world, – to live in accordance with his own nature. But this is turned into a hard task by the general madness of mankind’.

7 Ahonen, Marke, Mental Disorders in Ancient Philosophy, Heidelberg: Springer, 2014, p. 103. Bacon's appropriation of Stoic thought is unsurprising given the Stoic milieu in which he moved. Barbour, Reid, English Epicures and Stoics: Ancient Legacies in Early Stuart Culture, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998, p. 17, observes that ‘the overall impression left by early Stuart writers is of their deeply informed and widely ranging knowledge of the classical, medieval, and Renaissance legacy of the Porch’. Stoicism was omnipresent for the well-read Renaissance man. On an obvious level there is the popularity of Seneca's Naturales quaestiones and Ad Lucilium epistulae morales, along with Cicero's Tusculanae disputationes, De officiis, De finibus bonorum et malorum, and De natura deorum, to name just a few. There were also Plutarch's hostile treatments. Furthermore, Epictetus’ ethics in the Discourses and Encheiridion was highly popular. Augustine's writings reflect Stoic ideas, as do the works of the Alexandrian Church Fathers. Ambrogio Traversari's Latin translation of Diogenes Laertius’ Vitae philosophorum was published around 1472. Bouwsma, William J., John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, discusses Calvin's ambiguous relationship with Stoicism. Lipsius's De constantia (1583/1584) was also extremely influential, followed by the Manducatio ad Stoicam philosophiam and the Physiologia Stoicorum. Stoic thought percolated through the Italian naturalists. Pietro Pomponazzi embraced aspects of Stoic determinism in De fato and Bernardino Telesio's natural philosophy is indebted to Stoic ideas. Perhaps most significantly, there is the revival and widespread availability in this period of Galen's writings, which were suffused with Stoic materials. Girolamo Fracastoro, for example, was keen on the contemporary revival of Galen's writings, though he was not always positively responsive to them.

8 Ahonen, op. cit. (7), p. 103.

9 The partial isomorphism of the Stoic and Baconian analyses is no coincidence. The idols clearly have some affinity both with the eidola of Epicurus and the phantasia (impression) of the Stoics. At any rate Bacon at times seems to echo Epictetus, Fragments, 28: ‘It is no ordinary matter that is at stake, said he, but it is a question of either madness or sanity’, Discourses, Books 3–4. Fragments. The Encheiridion (tr. Oldfather, W.A.), LCL 218, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928, pp. 470471. On the history of the term idolum see Rees, ‘Commentary’, OFB 11, pp. 506–508.

10 Bacon, Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, p. 530 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘artemque quandam insaniae’.

11 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 10), OFB 11, pp. 66–67.

12 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 27), OFB 11, pp. 74–75.

13 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 77), OFB 11, pp. 122–123.

14 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 568 (Latin)/(my tr.). In Plutarch's Sayings of Kings and Commanders, 188A, this remark is attributed to Phocion, Moralia, vol. 3 (tr. Frank Cole Babbitt), LCL 245, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1931, pp. 108–109. Bacon repeats this claim in Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 77), including the reference to Phocion.

15 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 115), OFB 11, pp. 172–173.

16 See De augmentis, where Bacon quotes an aphorism of Hippocrates: ‘they who are sick and feel no pain are sick in their mind’, adding that ‘they need medicine not only to assuage the disease, but to awake the sense’ (Book 7, Chapter 3), SEH 1, p. 732 (Latin)/SEH 5, p. 20 (tr.); Hippocrates, aph. ii.6, Hippocratis Magni Aphorismi, soluti et metrici (tr. R. Winterton), Cambridge, 1633, p. 30. See also Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. lvii, who notes, ‘The doctrine of idols offers the self-knowledge which (Bacon believes) is a precondition of knowledge of what lies outside the mind’ (emphasis in original).

17 Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium (XCIV, 17) in Epistles, vol. 3: Epistles 93–124 (tr. Richard M. Gummere), LCL 77, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1925, pp. 20–23.

18 There is a large literature arguing that Bacon hoped to recover Adamic knowledge. Peter Harrison's work epitomizes this interpretation, asserting that ‘Francis Bacon's proposed instauration of natural philosophy was conceived of as a recovery of knowledge lost as a consequence of the Fall’. Harrison, Peter, The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 16. See also Harrison, ‘Francis Bacon, natural philosophy, and the cultivation of the mind’, Perspectives on Science (2012) 20, pp. 139158. Corneanu, Sorana discusses Bacon's understanding of the Fall and its consequences for the mental faculties in Regimens of the Mind: Boyle, Locke, and the Early Modern Cultura Animi Tradition, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. According to Corneanu, op. cit., p. 2, Bacon's new method offered ‘a route toward a partial restoration of man's prelapsarian mental powers’. Gaukroger, Stephen, The Emergence of a Scientific Culture: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1210–1685, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006, p. 206, holds that Bacon regarded men's ‘seriously deficient natural faculties’ as in many respects a consequence of the Fall and ‘beyond remedy’. On Gaukroger's reading, there is no question of a return to ‘a natural, prelapsarian state in which they might know things as they are with an unmediated knowledge’. The most detailed account of the post-Baconian project to restore fallen nature remains Webster's, Charles The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine, and Reform 1626–1660, London: Duckworth Press, 1975, esp. pp. 324335.

19 Bacon's materialism entails a concept of matter as active, appetitive, eternal and self-subsisting.

20 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 619 (Latin)/PFB, p. 100 (tr. modified). See also Temporis partus masculus: ‘amid this universal madness they [madmen] must absolutely be humoured’, SEH 3, p. 529 (my tr.).

21 For Bacon's language of madness see, for instance, insania in Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, pp. 529, 530; De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, p. 785; ‘Cogitationes de scientia humana’, SEH 3, p. 193. Insanus in Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 6), OFB 11, p. 66. Insanire in Distributio operis, OFB 11, p. 34; Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, p. 54; Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 27), p. 74. ‘Res male-sana’ in Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 10), OFB 11, p. 66. ‘Malesanus impetus’ in Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 581; Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, p. 54. ‘Phreneticorum deliramenta’ in Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 619. ‘Morbus animorum’ in Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 568. ‘Alienatio mentis’ in Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 600. ‘Animus alienus’ in De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, p. 785. Dementia in Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 574; Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, p. 54. Delirare in Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, p. 54. ‘Annon eos helleboro opus habere cogitaretis?’ [‘Would you not think that they had need of hellebore?’] in Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 581 (my tr.).

22 Bacon, Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, pp. 90–91.

23 Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 248. Bacon also discusses this strategy in De interpretatione naturae prooemium: ‘Now for my plan of publication – those parts of the work which have it for their object to find out and bring into correspondence such minds as are prepared and disposed for the argument, and to purge the floors of men's understandings, I wish to be published to the world and circulate from mouth to mouth: the rest I would have passed from hand to hand, with selection and judgment’. SEH 3, p. 520 (Latin)/translated in James Spedding (ed.), The Letters and the Life of Francis Bacon, 7 vols., London: Longmans, 1861–1874, vol. 10, p. 87 (the volumes in this edition will hereafter be cited as LL, with volume number). See also Commentarius solutus, which includes the note ‘Qu. of the Maner and praescripts touching Secrecy, tradition, and publication’, LL 11, p. 66.

24 For Bacon's use of the term filii scientiarum or simply filius in the singular and plural see Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, passim; Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, passim; Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 606; De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, pp. 787–788; Filum labyrinthi, sive formula inquisitionis, SEH 3, p. 496; Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 123, marginal note, ‘De Methodo syncera, siue ad filios Scientiarum’; Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, p. 58; De augmentis (Book 6, Chapter 2), SEH 1, pp. 663–664; New Atlantis, SEH 3, pp. 156, 164, 166. See also Bacon's reference to the alchemists as filii chimiae, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 575; Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 605. In Cogitata et visa Bacon proposed to ‘communicate his tables only to a few and keep the rest back till after the publication of a treatise for popular perusal’, SEH 3, p. 620 (Latin)/PFB, p. 101; and in Commentarius solutus (26 July, 1608) there is an entry, ‘Imparting my Cogitata et Visa with choyse, ut videbitur’, LL 11, p. 64. On Bacon's concept of ‘secret and public knowledge’ see Jalobeanu, Dana, ‘Bacon's brotherhood and its classical sources: producing and communicating knowledge in the project of Great Instauration’, in Zittel, Claus, Engel, Gisela, Nanni, Romano and Karafyllis, Nicole C. (eds.), Philosophies of Technology: Francis Bacon and His Contemporaries, 2 vols., Leiden: Brill, 2008, vol. 1, pp. 197231, 211–214. On the restricted circulation of Bacon's unpublished philosophical writings see Serjeantson, Richard, ‘The philosophy of Francis Bacon in early Jacobean Oxford, with an edition of an unknown manuscript of the Valerius Terminus’, Historical Journal (2013) 56, pp. 10871106. Serjeantson, op. cit., p. 1091, presents evidence that Bacon ‘maintained a rather close guard over his unprinted philosophical compositions, and … permitted only limited access to them’.

25 Bacon, Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, p. 529 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘ut idoneum et legitimum sibi lectorem seponat, et quasi adoptet’. See also Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 248: ‘shall as it were single and adopt his reader’; De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, p. 787: ‘qui sibi legitimum lectorem seponat’. Stephens, James, Francis Bacon and the Style of Science, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1975, p. 78, discusses Bacon's decision ‘to weed out by way of his style all those unqualified to make the full journey to the noble heights of learning’.

26 These texts will be included in vol. 5 of the new Oxford University Press critical edition of Francis Bacon's complete works, Oxford Francis Bacon V: Early Philosophical Writings to c.1611, at www.oxfordfrancisbacon.com/planned-volumes/ofb-v-early-philosophical-writings, accessed 20 September 2018.

27 See Farrington, op. cit. (1), pp. 59–133. The title Redargutio philosophiarum is an addition in a later hand in BL MS Harley, 6855, vol. I, fos. 4r–31v. For the Latin texts see SEH 3, pp. 527–539, 557–585, 591–620.

28 On Bacon's tone in Temporis partus masculus see Spedding, SEH 3, pp. 524–526; Farrington, op. cit. (1), pp. 35–37.

29 Farrington, op. cit. (1), pp. 36–37.

30 Spedding, SEH 3, pp. 524–525. See also Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, pp. lii–liii. I agree with Spedding that ‘chapter 2’ of Temporis partus masculus addresses the idols of the theatre. See Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, p. 536, where Bacon appears to acknowledge that the rest of his discussion pertains to idols of the theatre. There is also mention of the idols in a general sense throughout Temporis partus masculus. Redargutio philosophiarum is not directly concerned with the idols, but much of this work was later incorporated into Novum organum.

31 For discussion of the genesis of the 1620 texts see Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, pp. cxvii–cxix.

32 Spedding, SEH 3, p. 543. See Partis instaurationis secundae delineatio & argumentum, SEH 3, pp. 547–548.

33 Spedding, SEH 3, pp. 4, 543. See also Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. cxviii.

34 The opening aphorisms of Books 1 and 2 of the Novum organum illustrate this point. They contain the pith and marrow of the Baconian project and earlier versions can be found in Aphorismi et consilia, SEH 3, pp. 793–794; and De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, pp. 785–786. Similarly, Aphorismi et consilia, SEH 3, p. 794, compresses Bacon's inductive method into a few sentences. It is worth noting that Bacon was in his forties when he wrote the early philosophical writings.

35 William Rawley, ‘The life of the Right Honourable Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Albans’, in SEH 1, p. 11. Rawley states, ‘I myself have seen at the least twelve copies of the Instauration, revised year by year one after another, and every year altered and amended in the frame thereof, till at last it came to that model in which it was committed to the press’. Rees finds Spedding's decision not to publish Indicia vera regrettable because, ‘while the [Novum organum] preface and Indicia vera are unmistakably the same in effect, they nevertheless differ in 34 substantive respects in the space of about 1,075 words’, original emphasis. He argues that these differences constitute ‘direct evidence … of Bacon's licking a small part of his text into shape’, Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. cxviii.

36 See, for example, Spedding, SEH 1, pp. 106, 416; and SEH 3, p. 543; Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon: The Major Works, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. xxi, xxviii, 516; Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, pp. cxviii, cxix; Serjeantson, Richard, ‘Francis Bacon's Valerius Terminus and the voyage to the “Great Instauration”’, Journal of the History of Ideas (2017) 78, pp. 341368, 342–344. Rees describes Bacon as ‘a great reviser and amplifier of his own writings. Passages in earlier works were frequently revised and incorporated in later ones’. Rees, Graham, ‘An unpublished manuscript by Francis Bacon: Sylva sylvarum drafts and other working notes’, Annals of Science (1981) 38, pp. 377412, 379 n. 15.

37 Rees's meticulous editorial work has drawn attention to numerous instances of redeployment, and it is by no means limited to the 1620 texts. For example, he observes that ‘the astronomical material in the Cogitationes de natura rerum (ca. 1604) was rearranged and incorporated in the Descriptio globi intellectualis (1612) … The Descriptio was itself a partial revision of the Advancement of learning (1605). Both of these works can be regarded as early versions of the De augmentis scientiarum (1623)’. Rees, op. cit. (36), p. 379 n. 15. More recently, Serjeantson has argued that the Valerius Terminus (c.1603) ‘forms a vital seedbed for several of his subsequent writings’. Serjeantson, op. cit. (36), p. 344. On Bacon's practice of rewriting and revision see also Jalobeanu, op. cit. (24), pp. 208–211.

38 See, for example, Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 6, pp. xxxi–xxxv, lxv–lxix; Rees, Graham, Francis Bacon's Natural Philosophy: A New Source. A Transcription of Manuscript Hardwick 72A with Translation and Commentary (ed. Graham Rees assisted by Christopher Upton), Chalfont St Giles: The British Society for the History of Science, 1984, pp. 378.

39 On the history of the doctrine of idols see Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, pp. li–liii; Corneanu, op. cit. (18), pp. 20–21; Spedding, SEH 1, pp. 113–117; O'Briant, W.H., ‘The genesis, definition, and classification of Bacon's idols’, Southern Journal of Philosophy (1975) 13, pp. 347357.

40 The following statement from Hobbes regarding the need to understand the overall design applies equally to Bacon: ‘For it is not the bare Words, but the Scope of the writer that giveth the true light, by which any writing is to bee interpreted; and they that insist upon single Texts, without considering the main Designe, can derive nothing from them cleerly’. Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan, 3 vols. (ed. Malcolm, N.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2012, vol. 3, p. 954; quoted in Odzuck, Eva Helene, ‘“I professed to write not all to all”: diversified communication in Thomas Hobbes's political philosophy’, Hobbes Studies (2017), 30, pp. 123155, 128.

41 Compagni, Vittoria Perrone, ‘“Dispersa Intentio”: alchemy, magic and scepticism in Agrippa’, Early Science and Medicine (2000) 5, pp. 160177. Newman, William R. and Principe, Lawrence M., Alchemy Tried in the Fire, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002, pp. 186187. On Clement and Maimonides see Lerner, Ralph, ‘Dispersal by design: the author's choice’, in Melzer, Arthur and Kraynak, Robert (eds.), Reason, Faith, and Politics: Essays in Honor of Werner J. Dannhauser, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008, pp. 2941. For a wide-ranging discussion of dispersal see Melzer, Arthur M., Philosophy between the Lines: The Lost History of Esoteric Writing, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014.

42 Agrippa, Cornelius, De occulta philosophia libri tres (enlarged edn, 1533), Book 3, Chapter 65 (ed. Vittoria Perrone Compagni), Leiden: Brill, 1992, p. 599: ‘Vos igitur, doctrinae et sapientiae filii, perquirite in hoc libro colligendo nostram dispersam intentionem quam in diversis locis proposuimus et quod occultatum est a nobis in uno loco, manifestum fecimus illud in alio, ut sapientibus vobis patefiat’. For the English translation see Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy (tr. Freake, James, ed. Tyson, Donald), St Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1997, p. 677. Agrippa's use of this technique is particularly noteworthy because Bacon recommends the De vanitate scientiarum to Sir Henry Savile: ‘A Letter and Discourse to Sir Henry Savile, touching helps for the intellectual powers’, SEH 7, p. 102. On the connection between De vanitate and De occulta philosophia see Compagni, op. cit. (41), pp. 160–177.

43 Compagni, op. cit. (41), p. 162. See also Perrone Compagni, ‘Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017) (ed. Edward N. Zalta), at https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2017/entries/agrippa-nettesheim. Newman's book review of Compagni's edition of De occulta philosophia discusses the dispersion of knowledge in the Summa perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber on which Agrippa's final chapter is based: ‘In essence, the technique of dispersion involved the intentional splitting up of a coherent discourse and the distribution of its parts throughout a text or texts. The reader then had to reassemble the disparate parts of the argument in order to divine the author's genuine meaning’. Newman, William, review of Compagni's edition of Cornelius Agrippa, De occulta philosophia libri tres, Isis (1995) 86, p. 105.

44 de Montaigne, Michel, Les Essais (Book 3, Chapter 9: “De la vanité”), in Montaigne, Oeuvres complètes (ed. Thibaudet, Albert and Rat, Maurice), Paris: Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1962, p. 974. For the English translation see The Essays of Michel de Montaigne (tr. and ed. M.A. Screech), Harmondsworth: Allen Lane/Penguin, 1991, p. 1126. On Bacon's debt to Montaigne see Ferrari, Emiliano, ‘“A knowledge broken”: essay writing and human science in Montaigne and Bacon’, Montaigne Studies (2016) 28, pp. 213223.

45 See, for example, Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, pp. 593–594 (Latin)/PFB, p. 75 (tr.); De augmentis (Book 6, Chapter 2), SEH 1, pp. 665–666 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 451 (tr.).

46 Bacon, Historia vitae & mortis, OFB 12, pp. 240–241. Bacon's unpublished texts sometimes contain connecting threads that are absent from his published works.

47 There is a sizeable literature on Bacon's aphorisms. See, for example, Sister Scholastica Mandeville, ‘The rhetorical tradition of the Sententia, with a study of its influence on the prose of Sir Francis Bacon and of Sir Thomas Browne’, unpublished PhD thesis, St Louis University, 1960; Vickers, Brian, Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968, pp. 6095; Stephens, James, ‘Science and the aphorism: Bacon's theory of the philosophical style’, Speech Monographs (1970) 37, pp. 157171; Stephens, op. cit. (25), pp. 98–121; Fish, Stanley, Self-Consuming Artifacts: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Prose and Poetry, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972, pp. 8590; Jardine, Lisa, Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974, pp. 176178; Kenshur, Oscar, Open Form and the Shape of Ideas: Literary Structures as Representations of Philosophical Concepts in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century, Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1986, pp. 3848; Snider, Alvin, ‘Francis Bacon and the authority of aphorism’, Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism (1988) 11, pp. 6071; Clucas, Stephen, ‘“A knowledge broken”: Francis Bacon's aphoristic style and the crisis of scholastic and humanist knowledge-systems’, in Rhodes, Neil (ed.), English Renaissance Prose: History, Language, and Politics, Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1997, pp. 147172.

48 Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. lxxxiii, emphasis in original.

49 Rees, op. cit. (48), p. lxxxiii, emphasis in original.

50 Rees, Graham, ‘An unpublished manuscript by Francis Bacon: Sylva sylvarum drafts and other working notes’, Annals of Science (1981) 38, pp. 377412, 381 n. 25. Elsewhere Rees observes that ‘the huge but dispersed reserves of cosmological material actually stockpiled in earlier parts of the Instauration and elsewhere were never woven into a systematic account’, and suggests it is unlikely ‘any commentator could unlock these dispersed reserves and integrate them properly without prior knowledge of the essentials of the cosmology’. Rees, ‘The fate of Bacon's cosmology in the seventeenth century’, Ambix (1977) 24, pp. 2738, 29.

51 As Melzer, op. cit. (41), p. 317, puts it, some ‘literary forms … being inherently more disjoint and promising less in the way of order and system, go together more naturally with the dispersal strategy’. Bacon recognized that a variety of forms, including essays, sententiae, observations and experiments, lent themselves to dispersal but the aphorism was the perfect vehicle. Vickers points out, ‘The prime quality for which Bacon valued the aphorism was not the pithiness commonly associated with it but its unsystematic quality, which allowed its user to set down separate observations without implying any firm connections between them’. Vickers, Brian (ed.), Francis Bacon, The Essays Or Counsels, Civil and Moral, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. xvii. He therefore describes Bacon's interest in the aphorism's ‘flexibility and freedom from system’ as ‘a more personal idea’. Vickers, op. cit. (47), p. 67. It seems likely that Bacon's decision to employ dispersal resulted in his personal take on the aphorism.

52 Bacon, Sylva sylvarum, Exp. 839, SEH 2, p. 615; Preface to Prodromi sive anticipationes philosophiae secundae, OFB 13, pp. 263–265. The Prodromi ‘was to be a temporary collection of “anticipations”, i.e., provisional theories or conclusions which Bacon had arrived at by “ordinary” reasoning’. Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. xix. See also Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 116), OFB 11, p. 174, where Bacon describes himself as ‘scattering [spargamus] in the meantime seeds of a purer truth for the generations to come’ (my tr.).

53 In addition to Wallace and Briggs, Stephens comes close to this position when he takes Bacon's aphoristic writing in a wider sense, and views it as a means to select readers. He stresses that ‘Bacon's philosophical works, taken together, as they must be, are carefully integrated, mutually dependent arguments for the new science’. Stephens, op. cit. (25), p. 137.

54 Wallace, Karl R., Francis Bacon on Communication and Rhetoric, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1943, pp. 23.

55 Briggs, John, Francis Bacon and the Rhetoric of Nature, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989, p. 14.

56 Richard Bostocke, The Difference between the auncient Phisicke … and the latter Phisicke, London: R. Walley, 1585, Chapter 23, sig. Liv; Briggs, op. cit. (55), p. 14.

57 Newman and Principe, op. cit. (41), pp. 186–187.

58 For example, Sargent, Rose-Mary, ‘Bacon as an advocate for cooperative scientific research’, in Peltonen, Markku (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Bacon, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 146171, 163, argues that Bacon was hostile to alchemical secrecy and esotericism, and instead called for ‘an open, democratic approach to the study of nature whereby the knowledge produced by all members of society would be freely communicated for the benefit of all’.

59 Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 248.

60 See also De interpretatione naturae prooemium, SEH 3, p. 520 (Latin)/LL 10, p. 87 (tr.); Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 27. This is consistent with his wider criticisms of the magical–alchemical tradition; he does not reject magic per se, but what he perceives as its abuse and contamination.

61 For Bacon, dispersal was not just a means to disseminate controversial ideas but played a significant pedagogical role. The process of interpreting Bacon's texts mirrors the process of interpreting nature, thereby training the ‘sons of the sciences’ in his new method of inquiry. On this point see Briggs, op. cit. (55), p. 14; Melzer, op. cit. (41), esp. pp. 232–334. Dispersal allows Bacon to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, as it were, so that readers can retrace his steps and are primed to continue where he left off.

62 Bacon, ‘A Letter of request to Dr. Playfer, to translate the Advancement of Learning into Latin’, LL 10, p. 301.

63 My approach to reading Bacon will be discussed at greater length in a book in preparation, Francis Bacon's Science of Magic. My claim that Bacon's project was established early in his career, and that later writings elaborated and expanded on it from various directions, is an empirical one demonstrated in this paper and elsewhere. The same goes for my argument that he deliberately fragmented his project and that it is therefore possible to construct a coherent account based on fragments scattered throughout his works. Some readers may object that my approach is too ‘internalist’ and fails to address the social and political context within which Bacon wrote, but it seems advisable to ascertain in the first instance, and as accurately as possible, just what set of doctrines, ideas, arguments, etc. is to be contextualized, otherwise the contextualization is liable to mistakes.

64 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 568 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘Postremo, si de isto consensu non diffiteamur, sed eum ipsum ut suspectum rejiciamus, an nos inter morbum istum animorum grassantem et epidemicum sanitatis poenitebit?’

65 Abbott, Edwin, Francis Bacon: An Account of His Life and Works, London: Macmillan, 1885, p. 349, original emphasis.

66 Ahonen, op. cit. (7), p. 104.

67 Bodley, Thomas, ‘Sir Thomas Bodley's letter to Sir Francis Bacon, about his Cogitata et Visa’, in The Remaines of the Right Honorable Francis Lord Verulam, London: B. Alsop, 1648, sigs. M1v, M3r.

68 Bacon, LL 10, p. 366. For a discussion of this passage, including Bacon's use of Virgil (Eclogues 10.8), see Colclough, David, ‘“Non canimus surdis, respondent omnia sylvae”: Francis Bacon and the transmission of knowledge’, in Berry, Philippa and Tudeau-Clayton, Margaret (eds.), Textures of Renaissance Knowledge, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003, pp. 8197, 89–90.

69 Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 248.

70 Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. lxxvii.

71 Peter Shaw in The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon (ed. and tr. P. Shaw), 3 vols., London, 1733, vol. 2, p. 334, note c; Bacon, De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, pp. 785–788, esp. pp. 786–787.

72 Shaw, op. cit. (71), vol. 2, p. 52 n. l, emphasis in original.

73 Shaw, op. cit. (71), vol. 2, pp. 52 n. 1, 59 n. m.

74 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 10), SEH 4, p. 48 (tr.).

75 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 10), OFB 11, p. 66 (Latin).

76 Spedding, SEH 4, p. 48 (tr.), note 1. The full footnote reads: ‘Literally, “are a thing insane.” The meaning appears to be, that these speculations, being founded upon such an inadequate conception of the case, must necessarily be so wide of the truth that they would seem like mere madness if we could only compare them with it; like the aim of a man blindfolded to bystanders looking on’. This is not the only instance where Bacon's language of madness is omitted in the SEH translation of the Novum organum. See also Book 1, aph. 6, where the Latin ‘Insanum quiddam esset, & in se contrarium …’ is rendered as ‘It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory …’. OFB 11, p. 66 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 48 (tr.). As Rees notes, the introductions and prefaces to the Victorian edition of Bacon's works show that the Victorian translations ‘were not prepared by Spedding, Ellis, and Heath but by individuals who inevitably had rather less purchase on Bacon's modes of thought than the editors themselves had’. Rees, G., in Collected Works of Francis Bacon (ed. Spedding, J., Ellis, R.L. and Heath, D.D., with a new introduction by Rees, G.), 7 vols., London: Routledge/Thoemmes, 1879, repr. 1996, vol. 1, p. vii. However, Spedding and Ellis were certainly involved in the translations, making corrections and revisions as they saw fit. See Spedding's ‘History and plan of this edition’, SEH 1, p. xiv; and Thomas Fowler's note in his second edition of Bacon's Novum organum: ‘Mr. Spedding … informed me that the translation was originally made by an Undergraduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, but that he was himself responsible for the form which it ultimately assumed’. Fowler, Thomas, Bacon's Novum Organum, 2nd edn, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889, p. 147 n. 78.

77 Bacon, Francis, The New Organon (ed. Jardine, Lisa and Silverthorne, Michael, tr. Silverthorne, Michael), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 34.

78 Silverthorne, in Bacon, op. cit. (77), p. 34 n. 2.

79 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 115), OFB 11, pp. 172–173.

80 ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. liv.

81 Bacon, Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 246.

82 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aphs. 26, 34), OFB 11, pp. 288–289, 310–311, original emphasis. He is referring to the Platonic goal of being ‘able to cut up each kind according to its species along its natural joints, and … not to splinter any part, as a bad butcher might do’. Plato, Phaedrus 265E (tr. Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff), in Plato, Complete Works (ed. John M. Cooper), Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997, p. 542.

83 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4), SEH 1, p. 643 (Latin)/SEH IV, p. 431 (tr.). See also Bacon, Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 241. For a discussion of Bacon's notion of the mind as a mirror see Park, Katherine, ‘Bacon's “enchanted glass”’, Isis (1984) 75, pp. 290302. Rorty, Richard, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979, esp. pp. 4243, provides a philosophical reconsideration of the mind–body relationship in terms of the Renaissance notion of glassy essence. Grabes, Herbert, The Mutable Glass: Mirror-Imagery in Titles and Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (tr. Collier, Gordon), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, esp. pp. 75103, provides a historical survey of mirror discourse in this period. Shuger, Debora discusses the cultural role of the mirror in an essay titled ‘The “I” of the beholder: Renaissance mirrors and the reflexive mind’, in Fumerton, Patricia and Hunt, Simon (eds.), Renaissance Culture and the Everyday, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999, pp. 2141. For an account of the mind as mirror image in Plato's Republic see Bundy, Murray W., ‘Plato's view of the imagination’, Studies in Philology (1922) 19(4), pp. 362403. Bundy, op. cit., p. 367, says that Plato ‘insists that truth is a matter of right vision, and is the first, so far as we know, to talk about the eye of the mind’. Plato's Republic is undoubtedly a key source for the idea that the distortion is within us, not external to us. Also important is the Pauline idea that our natural mode of seeing and understanding is ‘through a glass darkly’ (1 Cor. 13:12).

84 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 41), OFB 11, pp. 80–81.

85 On Bacon's view of the imagination see Park, op. cit. (83), pp. 290–302. Corneanu and Vermeir argue that ‘the imagination is an important ingredient in the moral, or mental-medicinal, aspect of Bacon's epistemological project’. Corneanu, Sorana and Vermeir, Koen, ‘Idols of the imagination: Francis Bacon on the imagination and the medicine of the mind’, Perspectives on Science (2012) 20, pp. 183206, 184. See also Giglioni, Guido, ‘Philosophy according to Tacitus: Francis Bacon and the inquiry into the limits of human self-delusion’, Perspectives on Science (2012) 20, pp. 159182; Wallace, Karl, Francis Bacon on the Nature of Man: The Faculties of Man's Soul: Understanding, Reason, Imagination, Memory, Will, and Appetite, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1967, esp. pp. 6995; Harrison, John L., ‘Bacon's view of rhetoric, poetry, and imagination’, in Vickers, Brian (ed.), Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon, Hamden, CT: Archon Press, 1968, pp. 253271; McCreary, Eugene P., ‘Bacon's theory of the imagination reconsidered’, Huntington Library Quarterly (1973) 36, pp. 317326; Cocking, John M., ‘Bacon's view of imagination’, in Fattori, Marta (ed.), Francis Bacon: Terminologia e fortuna nel XVII secolo, Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1984, pp. 4358; Marta Fattori, ‘Phantasia nella classificazione baconiana delle scienze’, in Fattori, Francis Bacon: Terminologia e fortuna, op. cit., pp. 117–137; Brian Vickers, ‘Bacon and rhetoric’, in Peltonen, op. cit. (58), pp. 200–231; Butler, Todd, Imagination and Politics in Seventeenth-Century England, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008, pp. 1756.

86 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 34–35.

87 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 41 and 53), OFB 11, pp. 78–79, 88–89.

88 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 40), OFB 11, pp. 358–359.

89 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 32–33.

90 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 16), OFB 11, pp. 68–70.

91 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 20), OFB 11, pp. 70–71.

92 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 52), OFB 11, pp. 88–89 (my tr.).

93 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 48), OFB 11, pp. 84–85.

94 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 124), OFB 11, pp. 186–187. For Bacon's appropriation of this Aristotelian notion see Kosman, Aryeh, Virtues of Thought, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 150153; Pérez-Ramos, Antonio, Francis Bacon's Idea of Science and the Maker's Knowledge Tradition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 96.

95 Bacon, Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 84.

96 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 19), OFB 11, pp. 70–71.

97 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 26), OFB 11, pp. 74–75.

98 Urbach, Peter, Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science: An Account and a Reappraisal, La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1987, pp. 3738; Gaukroger, Stephen, Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 118. See also Rees, ‘Commentary’, OFB 11, p. 506.

99 Long, A.A., Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986, p. 23.

100 Urbach, op. cit. (98), p. 37.

101 Bett, R., ‘Carneades’ Pithanon: a reappraisal of its role and status’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (1989) 7, pp. 5994, 70.

102 Bett, op. cit. (101), p. 70 n. 25. See Sextus Empiricus, Against Logicians, I.157 (ed. and tr. R.G. Bury), LCL 291, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935, pp. 84–87. On seventeenth-century translations of the writings of Sextus see Larmore, Charles, ‘Scepticism’, in Garber, Daniel and Ayers, Michael (eds.), The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, 2 vols., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, vol. 2, p. 1145.

103 See Sextus, op. cit. (102), pp. 84–87.

104 Stobaeus 2.111, 18–112, 8 (SVF 3.548, part) (ed. and tr. A.A. Long and D.N. Sedley), The Hellenistic Philosophers, vol. 1: Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary, p. 256 (G5); see also commentary, p. 258.

105 Stobaeus 2.68, 18–23 (SVF 3.663), op. cit. (104), p. 256 (I); see also commentary, p. 259.

106 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 64), OFB 11, pp. 100–101.

107 Bacon, Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 31.

108 Bacon's account of the mind's impediments is based on a psychology that associates types of knowledge with their corresponding cognitive faculties. As one would expect given his strategy of dispersal, Bacon does not provide a systematic psychology. Bacon scholars are indebted to the pioneering study of Wallace, op. cit. (85). Wallace, as Jardine, Lisa, Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974, p. 94 n. 1, notes, ‘collected together Bacon's scattered pronouncements on faculty psychology’. For an overview of Renaissance psychology and a discussion of Renaissance concepts of the soul see Park, Katherine and Kessler, Eckhard, ‘The concept of psychology’, in Schmitt, Charles B., Skinner, Quentin, Kessler, Eckhard and Kraye, Jill (eds.), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 455463; and Katherine Park, ‘The organic soul’, in Schmitt et al., op. cit., pp. 464–484.

109 Juan Huarte, Examen de ingenios [The Examination of Men's Wits] (tr. Richard Carew) (from the Italian version by Camillo Camilli), London, 1594, pp. 51–68. See also Clark, Stuart, Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 42. Read, Malcolm K., Juan Huarte de San Juan, Boston: Twayne, 1981, p. 7, highlights the influence and currency of Huarte's ideas, noting, ‘His work was translated into all the major European languages, including Latin, and ran into numerous editions’. For Huarte's influence on Bacon see Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 68, who remarks that both thinkers consider the faculties to be closely interlinked; de Vleeschauwer, H.J., ‘Autour de la classification psychologique des sciences: Juan Huarte de San Juan, Francis Bacon, Pierre Charron, d'Alembert’, Mousaion (1958) 27, pp. 2065; Olivieri, Grazia Tonelli, ‘Galen and Francis Bacon: faculties of the soul and the classification of knowledge’, in Kelley, D.R. and Popkin, R.H. (eds.), The Shapes of Knowledge from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1991, pp. 6181, 69.

110 Bacon, Descriptio globi intellectualis, OFB 6, pp. 98–99. This discussion also occurs in the later De augmentis (Book 2, Chapter 1), SEH 1, p. 495 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 293 (tr.).

111 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 2, Chapter 1), SEH 1, pp. 494–495 (Latin)/SEH 4, pp. 292–293 (tr. modified).

112 Bacon, Descriptio globi intellectualis, OFB 6, pp. 96–99.

113 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 1), SEH 1, p. 615 (Latin)/SEH 4, pp. 405–406 (tr.).

114 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 2, Chapter 1), SEH 1, p. 494 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 292 (tr.).

115 Bacon, Descriptio globi intellectualis, OFB 6, pp. 96–97.

116 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 34–35.

117 Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 132. Similarly, Vickers, op. cit. (85), p. 220, comments that the faculties are ‘in a continuously fluctuating relationship’, and Butler, op. cit. (85), p. 23, remarks, ‘Structural fixity becomes difficult to accommodate within this fluid mental picture’.

118 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 4, Chapter 3), SEH 1, p. 610 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 401 (tr.).

119 Corneanu, Sorana, ‘Francis Bacon on the motions of the mind’, in Giglioni, Guido, Lancaster, James A.T., Corneanu, Sorana and Jalobeanu, Dana (eds.), Francis Bacon on Motion and Power, Dordrecht: Springer, 2016, pp. 201229, 205. See also the introduction by Giglioni, who writes that ‘although reason itself is not material for Bacon (as it would be for a genuinely Stoic or Hobbesian thinker), it is nevertheless perennially confronted with matter’. Guido Giglioni, ‘Introduction: Francis Bacon and the theologico-political reconfiguration of desire in the early modern period’, in Lancaster, Giglioni et al., op. cit., p. 14. This paper, by contrast, argues that reason, along with memory and imagination, is material for Bacon, as it was for the Stoics and Hobbes.

120 Rees, Graham, ‘Francis Bacon's biological ideas: a new manuscript source’, in Vickers, Brian (ed.), Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 297314, 302. At p. 313 n. 30 Rees suggests that ‘the whole question of Bacon's view of the human faculties needs to be looked at again’.

121 Rees, op. cit. (38), p. 41.

122 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 2), OFB 11, p. 202: ‘in Natura nihil vere existat praeter Corpora indiuidua, edentia actus puros indiuiduos ex lege’. In a manuscript thought to have been written between 1637 and 1640 (National Library of Wales, MS 5297), Hobbes writes, ‘The original and sum of knowledge stands thus: there is nothing that truly exists in the world but single individual bodies producing single and individual acts or effects from law, rule or form and in order or succession’, in Critique du De Mundo de Thomas White (ed. J. Jacquot and H. Whitmore Jones), Paris 1973, Appendix 2, p. 449. In discussing this passage, Noel Malcolm, Aspects of Hobbes, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002, p. 30, notes that ‘in another early manuscript, probably also written in the 1630s, he [Hobbes] had begun to apply these principles to the construction of a system of psychology in which all change was to be accounted for in terms of mechanical causation (the “Short Tract”)’. For Bacon's general influence on Hobbes see Bunce, Robin, ‘Thomas Hobbes’ relationship with Francis Bacon: an introduction’, Hobbes Studies (2003) 16, pp. 4183; Bunce, ‘Hobbes's forgotten natural histories’, Hobbes Studies (2006) 19, pp. 77–104.

123 Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 132. Olivieri, op. cit. (109), p. 62, emphasis in original, takes a similar view, arguing that Bacon believed ‘one should examine the faculties of the soul from a natural point of view’.

124 Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 57. Rees, Graham, ‘Francis Bacon and spiritus vitalis’, in Fattori, Marta and Bianchi, Massimo (eds.), Spiritus: IVo Colloquio Internazionale del Lessico Intellettuale Europeo, Rome: Edizione dell'Ateneo, 1984, p. 277, comes close to this interpretation when he asks, ‘Are some at least of the higher human faculties to be regarded as mere “ripples” in the spiritus vitalis?’

125 Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 132.

126 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 127), OFB 11, pp. 80–81, 190–191.

127 This bears a striking resemblance to the Stoic notion of the human soul as a material pneuma, a volatile compound of air and fire.

128 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 4, Chapter 3), SEH 1, p. 606 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 398 (tr.).

129 For Doni's theory of spiritus see De natura hominis libri duo [Basel, 1581] (Lat. ed. and Italian tr. Luigi De Franco), L'eretico Agostino Doni, medico e filosofo cosentino del ’500, Cosenza: Pellegrini Editore, 1973, esp. pp. 324–349, 402–411. On Doni's identification of spirit and soul, and the role of the preface and peroration in protecting him from charges of heresy, see L'eretico Agostino Doni, medico e filosofo cosentino del ’500, pp. 185–186; Walker, D.P., Spiritual and Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella (reprint of the 1958 edition), University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000, pp. 193194; Jan Prins, ‘Walter Warner (ca. 1557–1643) and his notes on animal organisms’, PhD thesis, University of Utrecht, 1992, pp. 91–95; Brann, Noel, The Debate over the Origin of Genius during the Italian Renaissance, Leiden: Brill, 2002, pp. 384385; and Tutrone, Fabio, ‘The body of the soul: Lucretian echoes in the Renaissance theories on the psychic substance and its organic repartition’, Gesnerus (2014) 71, pp. 204236.

130 Doni, op. cit. (129), p. 346 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘non tantum movet et sentit, sed videtur alia quoque posse … videlicet imaginatur, recordatur, intelligit, ratiocinatur, memoria tenet’.

131 Walker, D.P., ‘Francis Bacon and spiritus’, in Debus, Allen G. (ed.), Science, Medicine and Society in the Renaissance, 2 vols., London: Heinemann, 1972, vol. 2, pp. 121130, 125. Doni fled religious persecution in Italy, then Basel. On Doni's life see De Franco, op. cit. (129), pp. 15–47.

132 Walker, op. cit. (129), p. 195.

133 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 2, Chapter 13), SEH 1, p. 528 (my tr.): ‘At Pana oblectant Nymphae, Animae scilicet; deliciae enim mundi Animae viventium sunt. Hic autem merito illarum imperator, cum illae naturam quaeque suam tanquam ducem sequantur, et circa eum infinita cum varietate, veluti singulae more patrio, saltent et choreas ducant, motu neutiquam cessante. Itaque acute quidam ex recentioribus facultates animae omnes ad Motum reduxit, et nonnullorum ex antiquis fastidium et praecipitationem notavit, qui memoriam et phantasiam et rationem defixis praepropere oculis intuentes et contemplantes, Vim Cogitativam, quae primas tenet, praetermiserunt. Nam et qui meminit, aut etiam reminiscitur, cogitat; et qui imaginatur similiter cogitat; et qui ratiocinatur utique cogitat: denique Anima, sive a sensu monita, sive sibi permissa, sive in functionibus intellectus, sive affectuum et voluntatis, ad modulationem cogitationum saltat; quae est illa Nympharum tripudiatio’. Spedding et al. translate anima as ‘spirit’, with the exception of the third use of the term, where Bacon refers to Doni's position. The translation of anima as ‘soul’ throughout was preferred by Gilbert Wats, Peter Shaw and Wallace. See Of the Advancement and Proficience of Learning (tr. Gilbert Wats), Oxford, 1640, sig. P3r; The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon (ed. and tr. P. Shaw), 3 vols., London, 1733, vol. 1, p. 62; Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 30 n. 29. The second half of this passage (including the reference to Doni) is omitted from the fable of Pan in the earlier De Sapientia veterum, SEH 6, p. 639 (Latin)/p. 712 (tr.). For an alternative reading of this passage see Corneanu, op. cit. (119), p. 214 n. 28, who maintains that although it ‘sounds as materialist as one so inclined would hope for; yet it is in fact perfectly compatible’ with the view that Bacon regards the higher mental activities as functions of the incorporeal rational soul.

134 Ellis, SEH 1, p. 528 n. 1. Although there is general agreement that Bacon is indebted to Doni for his concept of spiritus, most commentators stop short of attributing Doni's materialist account of the higher mental faculties to Bacon. A full treatment of this topic lies beyond the scope of this paper since it requires a detailed analysis of Bacon's doctrine of the soul and the influence of the Italian naturalists (Pomponazzi, Fracastoro, Telesio and Doni) with respect to both strategy and content. For a detailed comparative study of Bacon's and Doni's theories of spirit see Gemelli, Benedino, Aspetti dell'atomismo classico nella filosofia di Francis Bacon e nel Seicento, Florence: Olschki, 1996, pp. 99139. See also Rees, op. cit. (120), p. 313 n. 39; Rees, op. cit. (38), pp. 76–77 n. 30; Prins, op. cit. (129), pp. 95–97; Tutrone, op. cit. (129), pp. 204–236.

135 It is no coincidence that Bacon makes this claim in a passage demonstrating the use of parabolic poesy in natural philosophy. Here, as in De sapientia veterum and De principiis atque originibus, the myths serve as camouflage, allowing him to present his own views as the recovery of lost ancient wisdom. See, for example, Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 6, p. xxix, who refers to ‘the prisca sapientia that he [Bacon] pretended to find in the ancient fables’. For a more detailed account see Paterson, Timothy H., ‘Bacon's myth of Orpheus: power as a goal of science in Of the Wisdom of the Ancients’, Interpretation (1989) 16, pp. 427444, who argues that Bacon feigned belief in the existence of an ancient wisdom hidden in the myths. For the alternative view that Bacon really believed in mythology as a repository of ancient wisdom see Lewis, Rhodri, ‘Francis Bacon, allegory and the uses of myth’, Review of English Studies (2010) 61, pp. 360389.

136 According to Bacon, ‘sense and everything else that depends on it’ are limited to creatures with integrated branching networks which ‘feed back’ to the cerebral concentration of spirit. For Bacon's concept of universitas spiritus see De vijs mortis, OFB 6, pp. 318–319, 342–343; Abecedarium nouum naturae, OFB 13, pp. 188–189; Historia vitae & mortis, OFB 12, pp. 304–305. Bernardino Telesio, De rerum natura, V, 12, 14 (ed. Luigi De Franco), vol. 2, Cosenza: Casa del Libro, 1971, pp. 274, 298–300. On Telesio's concept of universitas spiritus see Giglioni, Guido, ‘The first of the moderns or the last of the ancients? Bernardino Telesio on nature and sentience’, Bruniana et Campanelliana (2010) 16, pp. 6987, esp. 76–78.

137 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 127), OFB 11, pp. 190–191. Compare Hobbes's argument that mental motions ‘have their causes in sense and imagination, which are the subject of physical contemplation’. Hobbes, Thomas, De Corpore (Part 1, Chapter 6), in The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury (ed. Molesworth, Sir William), 11 vols., London: J. Bohn, 1839–1845, vol. 1, pp. 7273, emphasis in original. For Bacon's natural philosophical inquiry into ‘mental motions’ see also De augmentis (Book 3, Chapter 4 and Book 4, Chapter 3), SEH 1, pp. 561, 607 (Latin)/SEH 4, pp. 357, 398–399 (tr.); Sylva sylvarum, esp. century 10, SEH 2, pp. 640–672; Catalogus historiarum particularium, OFB 11, p. 481; Filum labyrinthi sive inquisitio legitima de motu, SEH 3, p. 640.

138 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 4, Chapter 3), SEH 1, p. 607 (Latin)/SEH 4, pp. 398–399 (tr.).

139 As I will discuss elsewhere (Francis Bacon's Science of Magic, in preparation), Fracastoro's De sympathia et antipathia rerum (1546) and Turrius, sive de intellectione contain a treasure trove of themes, topics, concepts and modes of argument that Bacon appropriates, including a strictly natural-philosophical psychology.

140 Pearce, Spencer, ‘Nature and supernature in the dialogues of Girolamo Fracastoro’, Sixteenth Century Journal (1996) 27, pp. 111132, 118.

141 Fracastoro, Turrius oder über das Erkennen/Turrius sive de intellectione, 194 A (ed. and tr. Boenke, Michaela), Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2006, p. 172/(my tr.): ‘prima deceptio in phantasia fit’. For more on Fracastoro's naturalistic account of mental operation see Pearce, Spencer, ‘Intellect and organism in Fracastoro's Turrius’, in Griffiths, C.E.G. and Hastings, R. (eds.), The Cultural Heritage of the Italian Renaissance: Essays in Honour of T.G. Griffith, Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993, pp. 235270, esp. 239; Pearce op. cit. (140), pp. 116–118; Boenke, Michaela, Körper, Spiritus, Geist: Psychologie vor Descartes, Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2005, pp. 74119.

142 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 4, Chapter 1), SEH 1, p. 586 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 378 (tr.).

143 Huarte, op. cit. (109), pp. 54–55, quoted in Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 68.

144 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 48), OFB 11, pp. 382–417. Vickers, op. cit. (85), p. 220. Vickers is speaking here specifically of Bacon's theory of rhetoric and the way in which ‘persuasion functions … against the passions’, but the point applies more generally.

145 Similarly, in Cartesian psychology the imagination plays a central and fundamental role in mental life. See Dennis Sepper, Descartes's Imagination: Proportion, Images, and the Activity of Thinking, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

146 Vickers, op. cit. (85), p. 218. There is a tendency in the secondary literature to confuse Bacon's comments about the role of the all-powerful imagination in different contexts – for example, magic, mathematics, natural philosophy, religion and rhetoric. In some contexts it is beneficial to fortify and exalt the imagination, while in others, such as philosophy, it must be restrained. For more on this contentious issue see the literature cited in n. 85 above.

147 This is why Bacon is so wary of mathematics. As he explains in the De augmentis (Book 3, Chapter 6), ‘of all natural forms (such as I understand them) Quantity is the most abstracted and separable from matter’, and thus mathematics panders to the flighty imagination. He observes that ‘it being plainly the nature of the human mind, certainly to the extreme prejudice of knowledge, to delight in the open plains (as it were) of generalities rather than in the woods and inclosures of particulars, the mathematics of all other knowledge were the goodliest fields to satisfy that appetite for expatiation and meditation’. SEH 1, p. 576 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 370 (tr.).

148 Dewey, John, ‘Factors and trends in the modern moral consciousness’ (1932), in Ethics, The Later Works of John Dewey, vol. 7: 1925–1953: 1932, Ethics (ed. Boydston, Jo Ann), Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2008, pp. 135158, 145.

149 Zagorin, Perez, ‘Francis Bacon's concept of objectivity and the idols of the mind’, BJHS (2001) 34, pp. 379393, 389. Bacon says that only the idols of the theatre can be entirely eradicated (see n. 150 below). Zagorin (op. cit., p. 389 n. 46) adds in a footnote, ‘The most that could be done with [the innate idols] … was to point them out so that their insidious effect on the mind could be identified and overcome’. See also Murphy and Traninger, who argue in Murphy, Kathryn and Traninger, Anita (eds.), The Emergence of Impartiality, Leiden: Brill, 2014, p. 7, that ‘Bacon's Idols are clearly intended to free the mind from bias and prejudice, and to establish a state of mind apt for the judgement of truth’.

150 See Bacon's clear statement in Partis instaurationis secundae delineatio & argumentum, SEH 3, p. 551 (my tr.) that even if someone were ‘most willing to demand impartiality of himself, and forswear as it were every prejudice, nevertheless it is by no means proper on that account to have confidence in such a disposition of the mind. For no one commands his intellect by the choice of his own will’. See also De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4): only the idols of the theatre ‘may be rejected and got rid of … The others absolutely take possession of the mind, and cannot be wholly removed’, SEH 1, p. 643 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 431 (tr.).

151 As Paolo Rossi, Philosophy, Technology, and the Arts in the Early Modern Era (tr. S. Attanasio), New York: Harper and Row, 1970, p. 160, puts it, ‘The products of the “free” mind are but “idols,” namely ineffectual and arbitrary opinions’, and ‘only where the human mind forsakes its state of arbitrary freedom (i.e., the state of being “left to itself”)’ will it be able to attain true knowledge of nature. Bacon's use of the language of binding was deliberate, signalling a contrast to the mind's free play and reminiscent of a long-standing response to lunacy. For example, see Distributio operis, OFB 11, p. 28 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘For there an adversary is bound and constrained by disputation; here, by nature, by work’ (‘Illic enim aduersarius Disputatione vincitur & constringitur; hic Natura, Opere’). The verb constringere was used to refer to the binding of an insane person – in Roman law lunatics had to be restrained. Binding and constraining was also a favourite trope of Cicero's, e.g., Tusc. Dis., Book 2, Chapter 21, sect. 48: ‘If the part of the soul, which I have described as yielding, conducts itself disgracefully … let it be fettered and tightly bound [vinciatur et constringatur] by the guardianship of friends and relations’. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations (tr. King, J.E.), LCL 141, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1927, pp. 202203.

152 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 61), OFB 11, pp. 96–97. See also Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 572 (Latin)/PFB, 118 (tr.): ‘the more intelligent a man is, if he too soon deserts the light of nature, that is to say, the enquiry into particulars and the evidence drawn therefrom, the more steeply does he plunge into the obscure and tortuous recesses and caverns of the imagination and the more difficult does he make it to get out’.

153 Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 104), OFB 11, pp. 162–163. See also Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 162: ‘Had the imagination no role in scientific discovery and in facilitating insight? It played no part’.

154 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 34–35.

155 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4), SEH 1, p. 643 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 431 (tr.).

156 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 34–35.

157 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4), SEH 1, pp. 643, 645 (Latin)/SEH 4, pp. 431, 433 (tr.).

158 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 599 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘ut etiam infantes cum loqui discant, infoelicem errorum cabalam haurire et imbibere cogantur’.

159 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 599 (Latin)/PFB, p. 80 (tr.).

160 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 43), OFB 11, pp. 80–81.

161 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 60), OFB 11, pp. 92–95 (tr. modified).

162 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 34–35.

163 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 59), OFB 11, pp. 92–93.

164 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 599 (Latin)/PFB, pp. 80–81 (tr. modified).

165 Bacon, Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 110.

166 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 59), OFB 11, pp. 92–93, emphasis in original.

167 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4), SEH 1, p. 646 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 434 (tr. modified). See also Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 117. On the Tartar horsemen see Kiernan, ‘Commentary’, OFB 4, p. 311.

168 The notion that words can radiate power is found in al-Kindi's De radiis and was later taken up by Roger Bacon. See David C. Lindberg (ed. and tr.), Roger Bacon's Philosophy of Nature: A Critical Edition, with English Translation, Introduction, and Notes, of ‘De multiplicatione specierum’ and ‘De speculis comburentibus’, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983, p. xlv.

169 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 599 (Latin)/PFB, p. 81 (tr.).

170 Bacon, De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 4), SEH 1, p. 643 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 431 (tr.).

171 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 44), OFB 11, pp. 80–83.

172 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 42), OFB 11, pp. 80–81. See n. 3 above.

173 For the idea that people are bewitched see Bacon, De interpretatione naturae sententiae xii, SEH 3, p. 786; Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 84), OFB 11, pp. 132–133; Parasceue ad historiam naturalem, OFB 11, pp. 462–463. For larva and umbra see, for example, Descriptio globi intellectualis, OFB 6, p. 104; Phaenomena universi, OFB 6, p. 2; Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 35), OFB 11, p. 310.

174 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 583 (Latin)/PFB, p. 130 (my tr.).

175 William Rawley's letter ‘To The Reader’ appended to Sylva sylvarum, SEH 2, p. 335. See also Bacon, Parasceue ad historiam naturalem, OFB 11, pp. 452–453.

176 Le Doeuff, Michèle, ‘Hope in science’, in Sessions, William A. (ed.), Francis Bacon's Legacy of Texts: The Art of Discovery Grows with Discovery, New York: AMS Press, 1990, pp. 924, 15. See also Jalobeanu, Dana, ‘Idolatry, natural history and spiritual medicine: Francis Bacon and the neo-Stoic Protestantism of the late sixteenth century’, Perspectives on Science (2012) 21, pp. 207226.

177 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 574 (Latin)/PFB, p. 120 (tr.).

178 Bacon, Valerius Terminus, SEH 3, p. 224.

179 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 600 (Latin)/PFB, p. 82 (tr.). This is the definition of alienatio mentis as it is used in medical language. See Lewis, Charleton T. and Short, Charles, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879, reprinted 1966, p. 84. For examples see Celsus, De medicina, Book 4, Chapter 2, in On Medicine, vol. 1: Books 1–4 (tr. Spencer, W.G.), LCL 292, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935, pp. 362363; Aurelianus, Caelius, De morbis chronicis, Book 1, Chapter 5, in Caelius Aurelianus: On Acute and on Chronic Diseases (ed. and tr. Drabkin, I.), Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1950, pp. 534535.

180 Bacon, Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, pp. 530–531 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘Verum cum veritatem humanae mentis incolam veluti indigenam nec aliunde commigrantem mentireris, animosque nostros, ad historiam et res ipsas nunquam satis applicatos et reductos, averteres, ac se subingredi, ac in suis caecis et confusissimis idolis volutare contemplationis nomine doceres, tum demum fraudem capitalem admisisti’.

181 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, p. 601 (Latin)/PFB, p. 82 (tr.).

182 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 65), OFB 11, pp. 102–103. See also Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, p. 531; Descriptio globi intellectualis, OFB 6, pp. 132–133.

183 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 585 (Latin)/PFB, p. 133 (tr.).

184 Bacon, Cogitata et visa, SEH 3, pp. 601–602 (Latin)/PFB, p. 83 (tr.).

185 Bacon, Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, pp. 52–53.

186 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 34–35.

187 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 574 (Latin)/PFB, p. 120 (tr.).

188 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 20), OFB 11, pp. 70–71.

189 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 69), OFB 11, pp. 108–109.

190 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 30–31. See also De augmentis (Book 5, Chapter 2), SEH 1, p. 621 (Latin)/SEH 4, p. 411 (tr.).

191 Bacon, Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, pp. 52–55.

192 Fish, op. cit. (47), p. 152.

193 Bacon, Preface to the Instauratio magna, OFB 11, pp. 18–19.

194 Bacon, Instauratio magna preliminaries, OFB 11, pp. 2–3.

195 Bacon, Temporis partus masculus, SEH 3, p. 530 (Latin)/(my tr.): ‘artemque quandam insaniae componere, nosque verbis addicere’.

196 Bacon, Preface to the Instauratio magna, OFB 11, pp. 18–19.

197 Bacon, Preface to the Instauratio magna, OFB 11, pp. 24–25.

198 Bacon, Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, pp. 54–55 (tr. modified). An earlier version of this passage may be found in Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 581 (Latin)/PFB, p. 128 (tr.). For a discussion of the obelisk analogy see Rees, ‘Introduction’, OFB 11, p. li.

199 Bacon, Phaenomena universi, OFB 6, pp. 4–6.

200 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 10), OFB 11, pp. 214–215.

201 Bacon, Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, p. 54/(my tr.): ‘Restat vnica salus, ac sanitas, vt opus Mentis vniuersum de integro resumatur; ac Mens, iam ab ipso principio, nullo modo sibi permittatur, sed perpetuo regatur; ac res, veluti per machinas, conficiatur’.

202 Bacon, Abecedarium nouum naturae, OFB 13, pp. 172–173; Inquisitio legitima de motu in Commentarius solutus (copied 27 July 1608), SEH 3, p. 625.

203 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 10), OFB 11, pp. 214–217.

204 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 10), OFB 11, pp. 214–215.

205 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 102, Book 2, aph. 10), OFB 11, pp. 160–161, 214–215.

206 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 104), OFB 11, pp. 160–161. This aspect of the method was well understood by Glanvill, who writes that ‘the main intendment’ of the Royal Society was ‘to erect a well-grounded Natural History, which takes off the heats of wanton Phansie, hinders its extravagant excursions, and ties it down to sober Realities’. Glanvill, Joseph, Plus Ultra, or, The Progress and Advancement of Knowledge since the Days of Aristotle, London: Printed for James Collins, 1668, pp. 8990.

207 Bacon, Distributio operis, OFB 11, pp. 28–29. This vindicates Wallace's claims that neither imagination nor reason plays any functional role in the Novum organum: ‘another omission [in addition to the faculty of imagination] is striking. Bacon excludes mention of the reason from the Novum Organum. Had reason as a faculty no specific role in scientific invention? Seemingly not’. Wallace, op. cit. (85), p. 163. Similarly, Briggs, op. cit. (55), p. 9, maintains that ‘the inductive method is a machine that displaces the faculty of choice’.

208 Bacon, Redargutio philosophiarum, SEH 3, p. 573 (Latin)/PFB, p. 119 (tr.).

209 This is the meaning of Bacon's well-known claim that his method ‘almost levels men's wits [exaequat fere ingenia]’. It effectively disables the mind's spontaneous movements, outsourcing its work to a machine which promises to do a far superior job, so that ‘little be left to sharpness and force of wits, but that wits and intellects be put on much the same footing’. Novum organum (Book 1, aphs. 61, 122), OFB 11, pp. 96–97, 184/(my tr.). As Lewis, Rhodri, ‘Francis Bacon and ingenuity’, Renaissance Quarterly (2014) 67, pp. 113163, 153–154, argues, ‘Bacon never viewed the exercise of ingenium as an end in itself or believed that it had a role to play in logical inquiry’.

210 Bacon, Novum organum (Preface), OFB 11, pp. 52–53.

211 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 2, aph. 10), OFB 11, pp. 214–215.

212 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 95), OFB 11, pp. 152–153.

213 Bacon acknowledges ‘the Naturall hatred of the minde against necessity and Constraint’. Advancement of Learning, OFB 4, p. 152.

214 Bacon, Novum organum (Book 1, aph. 9), OFB 11, pp. 66–67.

215 Wood, Neal, ‘The Baconian character of Locke's “Essay”’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (1975) 6, pp. 4384, 82: ‘the evidence is compelling that Locke is a Baconian, and that the Essay concerning Human Understanding is fundamentally Baconian, whether directly or indirectly derivative’. See also Anstey, Peter R., ‘Locke, Bacon, and natural history’, Early Science and Medicine (2002) 7, pp. 6592.

216 Anstey, Peter R., John Locke and Natural Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 49. Locke, John, ‘Mr. Locke's Reply to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Worcester's Answer to his Second Letter’, in The Works of John Locke, 10 vols, 12th edn, London: Thomas Tegg, 1823, vol. 4, pp. 402403.

217 On the general influence of Locke's ideas see, for example, Yolton, John W., The Locke Reader: Selections from the Works of John Locke with a General Introduction and Commentary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, pp. 89; Porter, Roy, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World, London: Allen Lane, 2000, p. 62. On madness specifically see Porter, Mind-Forg'd Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987, p. 191, who remarks that ‘Locke's formulations [on madness] proved extraordinarily influential throughout the eighteenth century’; Whitehead, James, Madness and the Romantic Poet: A Critical History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 7981.

218 Porter, Mind-Forg'd Manacles, op. cit. (217), p. 190.

219 Locke, John, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689), Book 2, Chapter 33, Section 3 (ed. Nidditch, Peter H.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975, p. 395.

220 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 2, Chapter 33, Section 4, p. 395. Charland, Louis C., ‘John Locke on madness: redressing the intellectualist bias’, History of Psychiatry (2014) 25, pp. 137153, 142, remarks that Locke ‘is obviously concerned with the fact that describing persons whose thinking only opposes reason to a minimal degree as “mad” rings of hyperbole and risks causing serious prejudice’.

221 Charland, op. cit. (220), p. 142.

222 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 2, Chapter 11, Section 13, p. 161.

223 Locke, Journal, 5 November 1677, in Locke, John (1632–1704), Physician and Philosopher: A Medical Biography; With an Edition of the Medical Notes in His Journals (ed. Dewhurst, Kenneth), London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1963, p. 89. See also Charland, op. cit. (220), p. 143. Compare Locke's comment that the imagination ‘usurps the dominion over all the other facultys of the minde’ with Bacon's claim that imagination can ‘usurp’ reason's authority in its rightful domain. Locke, Journal, 22 January 1678, p. 101.

224 Locke, Journal, 22 January 1678, in John Locke, op. cit. (223), p. 101.

225 Keiser, Jess, ‘What's the matter with madness? John Locke, the association of ideas, and the physiology of thought’, in Mounsey, Chris (ed.), The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century, Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2014, pp. 4970, 49. See Locke's comments on the ‘Trains of Motion in the Animal Spirits’, Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 2, Chapter 33, Section 6, p. 396.

226 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 2, Chapter 11, Section 13, p. 161.

227 Locke, John, Of the Conduct of the Understanding, 5th edn (ed. Fowler, Thomas), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1901, p. 4; quoting Bacon, Preface to the Instauratio magna, OFB 11, pp. 18–19.

228 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 4, Chapter 17, Section 6, p. 679.

229 Charland, op. cit. (220), p. 144.

230 Locke, Journal, 5 November 1677, in Locke, op. cit. (223), p. 89. Compare with Bacon, ‘all our choice meditations, speculations and controversies are mere madness’.

231 Locke, Journal, 22 January 1678, in Locke, op. cit. (223), p. 101.

232 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 2, Chapter 33, Sections 5–18, pp. 395–401. See also Charland, op. cit. (220), pp. 145–146.

233 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 3, Chapter 9, Section 21, pp. 488–489. On this connection between Bacon and Locke see Vickers, Brian, ‘Analogy versus identity: the rejection of occult symbolism, 1580–1680’, in Vickers (ed.), Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 95163, 111.

234 Wood, op. cit. (215), p. 80.

235 Locke, op. cit. (219), Book 2, Chapter 33, Section 4, p. 395.

This paper is dedicated to the memory of my teacher, colleague and friend Ken Belcher. I would like to thank John Christie, Richard Francks, J.B. Hall, Chris Kenny, Stephen Pumfrey, A.L. Ritchie, James Sharpe and the anonymous referees for their helpful comments. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Leverhulme Trust for granting me a research fellowship for the 2017–2018 academic year.

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