Download Francis Bacon: The Temper of a Man by Catherine Drinker Bowen PDF

By Catherine Drinker Bowen

The portrait Bowen paints of this debatable guy, Francis Bacon (1561-1626), balances the outward lifestyles and activities of Bacon with the doubtless contradictory points of his subtle philosophical reflections. As Lord Chancellor of britain, Bacon used to be impeached through Parliament for taking bribes in place of work, convicted, and banished from London and the legislation courts. In a prayer Bacon composed throughout the period following his punishment, he finds that the dichotomy of his lifestyles used to be not more deeply felt than by way of himself, and he with ease admits that his responsibilities to society weren't as appropriate to his nature because the learn of philosophy, technological know-how, and legislations.

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But this is not to say that he was born to the aristocracy. Francis Bacon was a gentleman and the son of a gentleman; his father was a knight, not a peer. It was from the gentry that Elizabeth chose her councilors of state: shrewd men who had made money in confiscated church land, or burghers who dealt in wool, leather, wine. , then paid a herald to draw a pedigree, tracing their lineage back to William Conqueror, as he was called. Better at bargaining than at fighting, these men understood the value of compromise; Elizabeth could count on them.

His celebrated "forms" have proven useless to laboratory workers. Moreover it is nonsense to claim him as father of the inductive method. The inductive method goes back as far as Aristotle. Yet it is to be remembered that the seventeenth century was an era not of definite discoveries but of inspired guesses, large speculations impossible to prove experimentally until the necessary precision instruments and mathematical techniques should be developed. These inspired leaps and guesses were actually the forerunners of theories which later became accepted and part of general knowledge.

Powell Authority and place demonstrate and try the tempers of men, by moving every passion and discovering every frailty. Plutarch, Lives CONTENTS Introduction by Dominic J. Balestra Prologue: Lord Bacon's Reputation I An Elizabeth Eden, 1561-1579 II The Struggle to Rise, 1579-1613 1. Two Conflicting Ambitions 2. Bacon and Essex 3. Bacon Begins to Write 4. The Ambition of the Unde rstanding 5. The Ambition of the Will III Bacon Ascending: A Time of Glory, 1613-1620 1. Lord Coke's Defeat 2. Lord Chancellor IV Impeachment, 1621 V A Noble Five Years, 1621-1626 Index Illustrations appear between pages 118 and 119.

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