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Shawn Clayton
Shawn Clayton

FRANCIS BACON The New Organon


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The Novum Organum, fully Novum Organum, sive Indicia Vera de Interpretatione Naturae ("New organon, or true directions concerning the interpretation of nature") or Instaurationis Magnae, Pars II ("Part II of The Great Instauration"), is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon, written in Latin and published in 1620. The title is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. This is now known as the Baconian method.


An "organon" is a toolset, and Bacon claims to have developed a new toolset that will open up nature to inquiry in a way that wasn't possible for ancient and modern natural philosophy. Mark, Wes, and Dylan consider the degree to which what Bacon describes actually corresponds to the scientific method as we would recognize it, talk through Bacon's "four idols" that interfere with impartial inquiry, and consider how Bacon's method fits in with his larger political-ethical-religious view of "instauration," whereby we gain mastery over nature, recovering from the God's curse when he kicked Man out of the garden of Eden for eating the fruit of knowledge.


There were four complete translations done in the 19th century. Three of them, in reverse chronological order, are linked below. (The fourth was The Novum organon, or a true guide to the interpretation of nature, trans. G. W. Kitchin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1855.)


30. Spices and acrid herbs strike hot on the palate, and much hotter onthe stomach. Observe therefore on what other substances they produce theeffects of heat. Sailors tell us that when large parcels and masses of spicesare, after being long kept close, suddenly opened, those who first stir andtake them out run the risk of fever and inflammation. It can also be triedwhether such spices and herbs when pounded would not dry bacon and meat hungover them, as smoke does. 781b155fdc






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