Valerius Terminus: of the Interpretation of Nature by Sir Francis Bacon

This etext was prepared by Mike Pullen Valerius Terminus: of the Interpretation of Nature by Francis Bacon Preface by Robert Leslie Ellis The following fragments of a great work on the Interpretation of Nature were first published in Stephens’s Letters and Remains . They consist partly of detached passages, and partly of an epitome
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This etext was prepared by Mike Pullen

Valerius Terminus: of the Interpretation of Nature

by Francis Bacon

Preface by Robert Leslie Ellis

The following fragments of a great work on the Interpretation of Nature were first published in Stephens’s Letters and Remains [1734]. They consist partly of detached passages, and partly of an epitome of twelve chapters of the first book of the proposed work. The detached passages contain the first, sixth, and eighth chapters, and portions of the fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and sixteenth. The epitome contains an account of the contents of all the chapters from the twelfth to the twenty-sixth inclusive, omitting the twentieth, twentythird, and twenty-fourth. Thus the sixteenth chapter is mentioned both in the epitome and among the detached passages, and we are thus enabled to see that the two portions of the following tract belong to the same work, as it appears from both that the sixteenth chapter was to treat of the doctrine of idola.

It is impossible to ascertain the motive which determined Bacon to give to the supposed author the name of Valerius Terminus, or to his commentator, of whose annotations we have no remains, that of Hermes Stella. It may be conjectured that by the name Terminus he intended to intimate that the new philosophy would put an end to the wandering of mankind in search of truth, that it would be the TERMINUS AD QUEM in which when it was once attained the mind would finally acquiesce.

Again, the obscurity of the text was to be in some measure removed by the annotations of Stella; not however wholly, for Bacon in the epitome of the eighteenth chapter commends the manner of publishing knowledge “whereby it shall not be to the capacity nor taste of all, but shall as it were single and adopt his reader.” Stella was therefore to throw a kind of starlight on the subject, enough to prevent the student’s losing his way, but not much more.

However this may be, the tract is undoubtedly obscure, partly from the style in which it is written, and partly from its being only a fragment. It is at the same time full of interest, inasmuch as it is the earliest type of the INSTAURATIO…

Note to Preface by James Spedding:

The manuscript from which Robert Stephens printed these fragments was found among some loose papers placed in his hands by the Earl of Oxford, and is now in the British Museum; Harl. manuscripts 6462. It is a thin paper volume of the quarto size, written in the hand of one of Bacon’s servants, with corrections, erasures, and interlineations in his own.

The chapters of which it consists are both imperfect in themselves (all but three),–some breaking off abruptly, others being little more than tables of contents,–and imperfect in their connexion with each other; so much so as to suggest the idea of a number of separate papers loosely put together. But it was not so (and the fact is important) that the volume itself was actually made up. However they came together, they are here fairly and consecutively copied out. Though it be a collection of fragments therefore, it is such a collection as Bacon thought worthy not only of being preserved, but of being transcribed into a volume; and a particular account of it will not be out of place.

The contents of the manuscript before Bacon touched it may be thus described.

1. A titlepage, on which is written “VALERIUS TERMINUS of the Interpretation of Nature, with the annotations of HERMES STELLA.”

2. “Chapter I. Of the limits and end of knowledge;” with a running title, “Of the Interpretation of Nature.”

3. “The chapter immediately following the Inventory; being the 11th in order.”

4. “A part of the 9th chapter, immediately precedent to the Inventory, and inducing the same.”

5. “The Inventory, or an enumeration and view of inventions already discovered and in use, together with a note of the wants and the nature of the supplies; being the 10th chapter, and this a fragment only of the same.”

6. Part of a chapter, not numbered, “Of the internal and profound errors and superstitions in the nature of the mind, and of the four sorts of Idols or fictions which offer themselves to the understanding in the inquisition of knowledge.”

7. “Of the impediments of knowledge; being the third chapter, the preface only of it.”

8. “Of the impediments which have been in the times and in diversion of wits; being the fourth chapter.”

9. “Of the impediments of knowledge for want of a true succession of wits, and that hitherto the length of one man’s life hath been the greatest measure of knowledge; being the fifth chapter.”

10. “That the pretended succession of wits hath been evil placed, forasmuch as after variety of sects and opinions the most popular and not the truest prevaileth and weareth out the rest; being the sixth chapter.”

11. “Of the impediments of knowledge in handling it by parts, and in slipping off particular sciences from the root and stock of universal knowledge; being the seventh chapter.”

12. “That the end and scope of knowledge hath been generally mistaken, and that men were never well advised what it was they sought” (part of a chapter not numbered).

13. “An abridgment of divers chapters of the first book;” namely, the l2th, 13th, and 14th, (over which is a running title “Of active knowledge;”) and (without any running title) the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th], 19th, 21st, 22nd, 25th, and 26th. These abridgments have no headings; and at the end is written, “The end of the Abridgment of the first book of the Interpretation of Nature.”

Such was the arrangement of the manuscript as the transcriber left it; which I have thought worth preserving, because I seem to see traces in it of two separate stages in the developement of the work; the order of the chapters as they are transcribed being probably the same in which Bacon wrote them; and the numbers inserted at the end of the headings indicating the order in which, when he placed them in the transcriber’s hands, it was his intention to arrange them; and because it proves at any rate that at that time the design of the whole book was clearly laid out in his mind.

There is nothing, unfortunately, to fix the DATE of the transcript, unless it be implied in certain astronomical or astrological symbols written on the blank outside of the volume; in which the figures 1603 occur. This may possibly be the transcriber’s note of the time when he finished his work; for which (but for one circumstance which I shall mention presently) I should think the year 1603 is likely a date as any; for we know from a letter of Bacon’s, dated 3rd July 1603, that he had at that time resolved “to meddle as little as possible in the King’s causes,” and to “put his ambition wholly upon his pen;” and we know from the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING that in 1605 he was engaged upon a work entitled “The Interpretation of Nature:” to which I may add that there is in the Lambeth Library a copy of a letter from Bacon to Lord Kinlosse, dated 25th March, 1603, and written in the same hand as this manuscript.

Bacon’s corrections, if I may judge from the character of the handwriting, were inserted a little later; for it is a fact that about the beginning of James’s reign his writing underwent a remarkable change, from the hurried Saxon hand full of large sweeping curves and with letters imperfectly formed and connected, which he wrote in Elizabeth’s time, to a small, neat, light, and compact one, formed more upon the Italian model which was then coming into fashion; and when these corrections were made it is evident that this new character had become natural to him and easy. It is of course impossible to fix the precise date of such a change,–the more so because his autographs of this period are very scarce,–but whenever it was that he corrected this manuscript, it is evident that he then considered it worthy of careful revision. He has not merely inserted a sentence here and there, altered the numbers of the chapters, and added words to the headings in order to make the description more exact; but he has taken the trouble to add the running title wherever it was wanting, thus writing the words “of the Interpretation of Nature” at full lengths not less than eighteen times over; and upon the blank space of the titlepage he has written out a complete table of contents. In short, if he had been preparing the manuscript for the press or for a fresh transcript, he could not have done it more completely or carefully,–only that he has given no directions for altering the order of the chapters so as to make it correspond with the numbers. And hence I infer that up to the time when he made these corrections, this was the form of the great work on which he was engaged: it was a work concerning the Interpretation of Nature; which was to begin where the NOVUM ORGANUM begins; and of which the first book was to include all the preliminary considerations preparatory to the exposition of the formula.

I place this fragment here in deference to Mr. Ellis’s decided opinion that it was written before the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING. The positive ground indeed which he alleges in support of that conclusion I am obliged to set aside, as founded, I think, upon a misapprehension; and the supposition that no part of it was written later involves a difficulty which I cannot yet get over to my own satisfaction. But that the body of it was written earlier I see no reason to doubt; and if so, this is its proper place.

The particular point on which I venture to disagree with Mr. Ellis I have stated in a note upon his preface to the NOVUM ORGANUM, promising at the same time a fuller explanation of the grounds of my own conclusion, which I will now give.

The question is, whether the “Inventory” in the 10th chapter of VALERIUS TERMINUS was to have exhibited a general survey of the state of knowledge corresponding with that which fills the second book of the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING. I think not.

It is true indeed that the title of that 10th chapter,–namely, “The Inventory, or an enumeration and view of inventions already discovered and in use, with a note of the wants and the nature of the supplies”,–has at first sight a considerable resemblance to the description of the contents of the second book of the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING,–namely, “A general and faithful perambulation of learning, with an inquiry what parts thereof lie fresh and waste, and not improved and converted by the industry of Man;… wherein nevertheless my purpose is at this time to note only omissions and deficiencies, and not to make any redargutions of errors,” and so on. But an “enumeration of INVENTIONS” is not the same thing as “a perambulation of LEARNING;” and it will be found upon closer examination that the “Inventory” spoken of in VALERIUS TERMINUS does really correspond to one, and one only, of the fiftyone Desiderata set down at the end of the DE AUGMENTIS; viz. that INVENTARIUM OPUM HUMANARUM, which was to be an appendix to the MAGIA NATURALIS. See DE AUG. iii. 5. This will appear clearly by comparing the descriptions of the two.

In the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING Bacon tells us that there are two points of much purpose pertaining to the department of Natural Magic: the first of which is, “That there be made a calendar resembling an Inventory of the ESTATE OF MAN, containing ALL THE INVENTIONS, BEING THE WORKS OR FRUITS OF NATURE OR ART, which are now extant AND OF WHICH MAN IS ALREADY POSSESSED; out of which doth naturally result a note what things are yet held impossible or not invented; which calendar will be the more artificial and serviceable if to every reputed impossibility you add what thing is extant which cometh the nearest in degree to that impossibility: to the end that by these optatives and essentials man’s inquiry may be the more awake in deducing direction of works from the speculation of causes.”

The Inventory which was to have been inserted in the 10th chapter of VALERIUS TERMINUS is thus introduced:–“The plainest method and most directly pertinent to this intention will be to make distribution of SCIENCES, ARTS, INVENTIONS, WORKS, and their portions, ACCORDING TO THE USE AND TRIBUTE WHICH THEY YIELD AND RENDER TO THE CONDITION OF MAN’S LIFE; and under those several uses, being as several offices of provisions, to charge and tax what may be reasonably exacted or demanded,… and then upon those charges and taxations to distinguish and present as it were in several columns what is extant and already found, and what is DEFECTIVE AND FURTHER TO BE PROVIDED. Of which provisions because in many of them, after the manner of slothful and faulty accomptants, it will be returned by way of excuse that no such are to be had, it will be fit to give some light OF THE NATURE OF THE SUPPLIES; whereby it will evidently appear that they are to be compassed and procured.” And that the calendar was to deal, not with knowledge in general, but only with arts and sciences of invention in its more restricted sense–the PARS OPERATIVA DE NATURA (DE AUG. iii. 5.)–appears no less clearly from the opening of the 11th chapter, which was designed immediately to follow the “Inventory.” “It appeareth then what is now in proposition, not by general circumlocution but by particular note. No former philosophy,” etc. etc. “but the revealing and discovering of NEW INVENTIONS AND OPERATIONS,… the nature and kinds of which inventions HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED as they could be discovered,” etc. If further evidence were required of the exact resemblance between the Inventory of VALERIUS TERMINUS and the Inventarium of the ADVANCEMENT and the DE AUGMENTIS, I might quote the end of the 9th chapter, where the particular expressions correspond, if possible, more closely still. But I presume that the passages which I have given are enough; and that the opinion which I have elsewhere expressed as to the origin of the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING,–namely, that the writing of it was a by-thought and no part of the work on the Interpretation of Nature as originally designed,–will not be considered inconsistent with the evidence afforded by these fragments.

That the VALERIUS TERMINUS was composed before the ADVANCEMENT, though a conclusion not deducible from the Inventory, is nevertheless probable: but to suppose that it was so composed EXACTLY IN ITS PRESENT FORM, involves, as I said, a difficulty; which I will now state. The point is interesting, as bearing directly upon the developement in Bacon’s mind of the doctrine of Idols; concerning which see preface to NOVUM ORGANUM, note C. But I have to deal with it here merely as bearing upon the probable date of this fragment.

In treating of the department of Logic in the ADVANCEMENT, Bacon notices as altogether wanting “the particular elenches or cautions against three false appearances” or fallacies by which the mind of man is beset: the “caution” of which, he says, “doth extremely import the true conduct of human judgment.” These false appearances he describes, though he does not give their names; and they correspond respectively to what he afterwards called the Idols of the Tribe, the Cave, and the Forum. But he makes no mention of the fourth; namely, the Idols of the Theatre. Now in VALERIUS TERMINUS we find two separate passages in which the Idols are mentioned; and in both all four are enumerated, and all by name; though what he afterwards called Idols of the Forum, he there calls Idols of the Palace; and it seems to me very unlikely that, if when he wrote the ADVANCEMENT he had already formed that classification he should have omitted all mention of the Idols of the Theatre; for though it is true that that was not the place to discuss them, and therefore in the corresponding passage of the DE AUGMENTIS they are noticed as to be passed by “for the present,” yet they are noticed by name, and in all Bacon’s later writings the confutation of them holds a very prominent place.

To me the most probable explanation of the fact is this. I have already shown that between the composition and the transcription of these fragments the design of the work appears to have undergone a considerable change; the order of the chapters being entirely altered. We have only to suppose therefore that they were composed before the ADVANCEMENT and transcribed after, and that in preparing them for the transcriber Bacon made the same kind of alterations in the originals which he afterwards made upon the transcript, and the difficulty disappears. Nothing would be easier than to correct “three” into “four,” and insert “the Idols of the Theatre” at the end of the sentence.

And this reminds me (since I shall have so much to do with these questions of date) to suggest a general caution with regard to them all; namely, that in the case of fragments like these, the comparison of isolated passages can hardly ever be relied upon for evidence of the date or order of composition, or of the progressive developement of the writer’s views; and for this simple reason,–we can never be sure that the passages as they now stand formed part of the original writing. The copy of the fragment which we have may be (as there is reason to believe this was) a transcript from several loose papers, written at different periods and containing alterations or additions made from time to time. We may know perhaps that when Bacon published the ADVANCEMCNT OF LEARNING he was ignorant of some fact with which he afterwards became acquainted; we may find in one of these fragments,–say the TEMPORIS PARTUS MASCULUS,–a passage implying acquaintance with that fact. Does it follow that the TEMPORIS PARTUS MASCULUS was written after the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING? No; for in looking over the manuscript long after it was written, he may have observed and corrected the error. And we cannot conclude that he at the same time altered the whole composition so as to bring it into accordance with the views he then held; for that might be too long a work. He may have inserted a particular correction, but meant to rewrite the whole; and if so, in spite of the later date indicated by that particular passage, the body of the work would still represent a stage in his opinions anterior to the ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING.

I have felt some doubt whether in printing this fragment, I should follow the example of Stephens, who gave it exactly as he found it; or that of later editors, who have altered the order of the chapters so as to make it agree with the numbers. The latter plan will perhaps, upon the whole, be the more convenient. There can he little doubt that the numbers of the chapters indicate the order in which Bacon meant them to be read; and if any one wishes to compare it with the order in which they seem to have been written, he has only to look at Bacon’s table of contents, which was made with reference to the transcript, and which I give unaltered, except as to the spelling.

of the Interpretation of Nature with the Annotations of a few fragments of the first book, viz.

1. The first chapter entire. {Of the ends and limits of knowledge.}

2. A portion of the 11th chapter. {Of the scale.}

3. A small portion of the 9th chapter {being an Inducement to the Inventory.}

4. A small portion of the 10th chapter {being the preface to the Inventory.}

5. A small portion of the 16th chapter {being a preface to the inward elenches of the mind.}

6. A small portion of the 4th chapter. {Of the impediments of knowledge in general.}

7. A small portion of the 5th chapter. {Of the diversion of wits.}

8. The 6th chapter entire. {Of}

9. A portion of the 7th chapter.

10. The 8th chapter entire.

11. Another portion of the 9th chapter.

12. The Abridgment of the 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 21. 22. 25. 26th chapters of the first book.

13. The first chapter of {the} a book of the same argument written in Latin and destined {for} to be {traditionary} separate and not public.

None of the Annotations of Stella are set down in these fragments.

[The title] is written in the transcriber’s hand: all that follows in Bacon’s. The words between brackets have a line drawn through them. For an exact facsimile of the whole [see Contents pages 1 and 2].

[13.] refers to the first chapter of the TEMPORIS PARTUS MASCULUS; which follows in the manuscript volume, but not here. It is important as bearing upon the date of that fragment.


(by Sir Francis Bacon)

The first chapter of VALERIUS TERMINUS by Francis Bacon

An annotated version compiled and edited by Dr. Gisela Engel (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt am Main with the assistance of Dr. Harvey Wheeler (Ret. USC, Martha Boas Distinguished Research Professor at USC) and aided by Melek Hasgün, Simone Wirthmann, Antje Peters, Martina Glebocki, Carsten Jägler, Katja Morawek, Cora Hartmann (students at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt am Main).

Orignal Text | Annotations |
Valerius Terminus: |
Of the Interpretation{1} of Nature | 1A. | The word “interpretation” occurs | also e.g. in the title of the essay | DE INTERPRETATIONE NATURAE PROEMIUM | (1603; in Spedding vol. III) and in | his definition of man as “the servant | and interpreter of Nature” (IV,47). | This definition of man is the same | definition that we find in the | magico-alchemical tradition which is | in general refuted by Bacon. Paolo | Rossi (“Bacon’s idea of science”, in: | THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO BACON, ed. | by Markku Peltonen [1996], 25-46) | gives the following comment: |
| “Bacon condemned magic and alchemy on | ethical grounds. He accused them of | imposture and of megalomania. He | refuted their non-participatory | method and their intentional | unintelligibility, their attempt to | replace human sweat by a few drops of | elixir. But he borrows from the | magico-alchemical tradition the idea | that man can attempt to make himself | the master of nature. Bacon | understands knowledge not as | contemplation or recognition, but as | VENATIO, a hunt, an exploration of | unknown lands, a discovery of the | unknown. Nature can be transformed | from its foundations. Bacon’s | definition of man as “the servant and | interpreter of Nature” is the same | definition we find in the magico- | alchemical tradition, for instance in | the texts of Cornelius Agrippa von | Nettesheim.
| But for all the exponents of magic | and alchemistic culture, the texts of | ancient wisdom take the form of | sacred texts which indude secrets | that only a few men can decipher The | truth is hidden in the past and in | the profound. Like when dealing with | sacred texts, it is necessary | continuously to go BEYOND THE LETTER, | in search of a message which is more | and more hidden.The secret message | expresses a Truth which is at the | Origins and which is always the same. |
| In the Hermetic tradition, as in the | tradition of Platonism, the natural | world is conceived as the image or | living manifestation of God. | Understanding nature can reveal the | presence in the world of divine ideas | and archetypes. Bacon’s rejection of | any natural philosophy founded on | allegorical interpretations of | Scriptures meant a withdrawal from | exemplarism and symbolism, both | common features of mediaeval | philosophy and still flourishing in | the seventeenth century. As all works | –says Bacon–show the power and | ability of their maker, but not his | image, so God’s works “do shew the | omnipotency and wisdom of the maker | but not his image” (III, 350). The | distinction between the will and | power of God, so fully and subtly | present in Baconian texts, is very | important. “The heavens declare the | glory of God, and the firmament | showeth his handworks”: this verse | from the Psalms (18,2) is quoted by | Bacon several times. The image of the | world, immediately after the Word, is | a sign of the divine wisdom and | power, and yet the Scriptures do not | call the world ,”the image of God,” | but regard it only as “the work of | his hands,” neither do they speak of | any image of God other than man. | Theology is concerned with knowing | the book of the word of God, natural | philosophy studies the book of God’s | works. The book of Scripture reveals | the will of God, the book of nature, | his power. The study of nature has | nothing to say about God’s essence or | his will (IV; 340-3). |
| Bacon proposed to the European | culture an alternative view of | science. For him science had a | public, democratic, and collaborative | character, individual efforts | contributing to its general success. | In science, as Bacon conceives it, | truly effective results (not the | illusory achievements of magicians | and alchemists) can be attained only | through collaboration among | researchers, circulation of results, | and clarity of language. Scientific | understanding is not an individual | undertaking. The extension of man’s | power over nature is never the work | of a single investigator who keeps | his results secret, but is the fruit | of an organized community financed by | the state or by public bodies. Every | reform of learning is always a reform | also of cultural institutions and | universities.
| Not only a new image of science, but | also a new portrait of the “natural | philosopher” took shape in Bacon’s | writings. This portrait differed both | from that of the ancient philosopher | or sage and from the image of the | saint, the monk, the university | professor, the courtier, the perfect | prince, the magus. The values and the | ends theorized for the composite | groups of intellectuals and artisans | who contributed in the early | seventeenth century to the | development of science were different | from the goals of individual sanctity | or literary immortality and from the | aims of an exceptional and “demonic” | personality.
| A chaste patience, a natural modesty, | grave and composed manners, a smiling | pity are the characteristics of the | man of science in Bacon’s portrait of | him. In the REDARGUTIO PHILOSOPHIARUM | Bacon wrote:
| Then he told me that in Paris a | friend had taken him along and | introduced him to a gathering, ‘the | sight of which’, he said, ‘would | rejoice your eyes. lt was the | happiest experience of my life’. | There were some fifty men there, all | of mature years, not a young man | among them, all bearing the stamp of | dignity and probity… At his entry | they were chatting easily among | themselves but sitting in rows as if | expecting somebody. Not long after | there entered to them a man of | peaceful and serene air, save that | his face had become habituated to the | expression of pity… he took his | seat, not on a platform or pulpit, | but on level with the rest and | delivered the following address… | (III, 559; Farrington’s translation). |
| Bacon’s portrait doubtless resembles | Galileo or Einstein more than it does | the turbulent Paracelsus or the | unquiet and skittish Cornelius | Agrippa. The titanic bearing of the | Renaissance magus is now supplanted | by a classical composure similar to | that of the “conversations” of the | earliest Humanists. Also in Galileo’s | DIALOGO and in Descartes’s RECHERCHE | DE LA VERITÉ we find the same | familiar tone and style of | conversation in which [Descartes | wrote] “several friends, frankly and | without ceremony, disclose the best | of their thoughts to each other.” But | there is besides, in Bacon, the quiet | confidence that comes from knowing | the new powers made available to man | by technology and collaboration.The | new kind of learning, for which Bacon | is searching, must get away from | touches of genius, arbitrary | conclusions, chance, hasty summaries. | The emphasis Iaid by Bacon on the | social factor in scientific research | and in determining its ends, places | his philosophy on a radically | different plane from that of the | followers of Hermetic tradition.” |
| In DE SAPIENTIA VETERUM Bacon | describes Orpheus as the mythical | prototype of the philosopher (“Orpheus | sive Philosophia”, VI, 646-649). |
| 1B.
| Bacon gives the following | definition of “interpretation: “that | reason which is elicited from facts | by a just and methodological process, | I call INTERPRETATION OF NATURE” (IV, | 51). Now, this definition means a | harsh critique of Aristotelianism, | Scholasticism and Ramism. Michel | Malherbe comments on this: |
| “The main and most characteristic | feature of Bacon’s epistemology is | that it rests upon a single method, | which is INDUCTION… It must help | the understanding on its way toward | truth… Thus, true knowledge will go | from a lower certainty to a higher | liberty and from a lower liberty to a | higher certainty, and so on. This | rule is the basic principle of | Bacon’s theory of science; prepared | in the natural and experimental | history, determining the relationship | between the tables of presence, it | governs the induction of axioms and | the abstraction of notions and | ordains the divisions of sciences | within the general system of | knowledge. lt is well known that this | rule of invention originates in | Ramus’s methodology and, more | formerly, in Aristotle’s POSTERIOR | ANALYTICS. To characterize the nature | of the premises required for the | foundation of true demonstrations, | Aristotle had set down three | criteria: the predicate must be true | in every instance of its subject; it | must be part of the essential nature | of the subject; and it must be | universal, that is, related to the | subject by itself and QUA itself. | Aristotle was defining first | propositions as being essential | propositions; and he referred | universality to necessity and | extension to comprehension These | three criteria were much commented | upon during the whole scholastic | period, and were transformed, or | rather extended, by Ramus and others | in the sixteenth century. Whereas in | Aristotle they had expressed the | initial conditions of any conclusive | syllogism, in Ramus they became the | conditions of every systematic art: | within a system, methodically | organized for the exhibiting of | knowledge, any statement must be | taken in its full extension, it must | join things which are necessarily | related and it must be equivalent to | a definition. But these rules for | syllogistic or dialectic art in | Aristotle or Ramus become rules for | inductive invention in Bacon: and | their meaning is quite different. | With the rule of certainty and | liberty, Bacon aims at directiy | opposing the old logic, infected by | syllogistic or rhetoric formalism. |
| By its title, the NOVUM ORGANUM makes | Bacon’s ambition clear: to replace | the Aristotelian organon, which has | governed all knowledge until the end | of the sixteenth century with an | entirely new logical instrument, a | new method for the progress and | profit of human science. And the | Chancellor proclaims that he has | achieved his aim, if posterity | acknowledges that, even if he has | failed to discover new truths or | produce new works, he will have built | the means to discover such truths or | to produce such works (III, 520). He | insists that his method has nothing | to do with the old one nor does it | try to improve it. And he puts out | the choice in these terms: |
| There are and can be only two ways of | searching into and discovering truth. | The one flies from the senses and | particulars to the most general | axioms, and from these principles, | the truth of which it takes tor | settled and immoveable, proceeds to | judgment and to the discovery of | middle axioms. And this way is now in | fashion. The other derives axioms | from the senses and particulars, | rising by a gradual and unbroken | ascent, so that it arrives at the | most general axioms last of all. This | is the true way, but as yet untried. | (IV, 50)
| When it is left to itself, the | understanding follows the first way, | hastily applies itself to reality and | generates ANTICIPATIONS OF NATURE. | But “that reason which is elicited | from facts by a just and | methodological process, I call | INTERPRETATION OF NATURE” (IV, 51). |
| Taken as a whole, Bacon’s critique | comes to this: from a formal point of | view, Aristotle’s syllogism is | essentially a logic for deductive | reasoning, which goes from the | principles to the consequences, from | the premises to the conclusions. And, | of course, in this kind of reasoning, | the truth of the conclusions is | necessarily derived from the truth of | the premises, so that knowledge will | start with primary truths that are | supposed to be necessary and | universal, that is, essential. Now, | Bacon asks, how does the mind acquire | the knowledge of these primary | truths, since, as it is allowed by | Aristotle himself, all knowledge | starts with experience, which | experience is always contingent and | particular? How does the mind go from | the empirical knowledge of facts or | sensible effects (phenomena) to the | knowledge of the very nature of | things? The formal necessity of the | syllogism (or deductive reasoning) | makes the old logic forget the pre- | judicial question of how we set up | first principles. Therefore, any | attempt to define the valid form of | theories must go through the inquiry | upon how we establish truth. |
| From this general critique, it is | easy to understand Bacon’s various | comments on the old organon. First, | since such a logic induces a kind of | double start, the empirical one and | the rational one, and since it | confuses the origin of knowledge with | its foundation, the mind is condemned | to jump immediately from empirical | particulars to first principles (or | axioms, in Bacon’s terms) and to | render superfluous the required | induction which would gradually lead | from one point to the other. This | instantaneous slip from empirical | data to rational and essential dogmas | is made possible by the very nature | of the human mind. Left to itself, | the mind hurries toward certainty; it | is prone to gain assent and consent; | it fills the imagination with idols, | untested generalities. And it is this | natural haste and prejudice which | gives mental activity its | anticipative form. By themselves, | anticipations draw the most general | principles from immediate experience, | in order to proceed, as quickly as | possible, to the formal deduction of | consequences. Therefore, however | paradoxical it may appear, the old | logic is unduly empirical and unduly | logical. And the critique of | formalism [formalism draws the | conclusions from the premises without | inquiring upon the truth of the | premises] must be attended by the | critique of the nature of the human | mind.
| The human mind is so disposed that it | relies on the senses, which provide | it with the rudiments of all | knowledge. Of course, Bacon argues, | we cannot get any information about | things except with the senses, and | skeptics are wrong when, questioning | them, they plunge the mind into | despair. “But by far the greatest | hindrance and aberration of the human | understanding proceeds from the | dulness, incompetency, and deceptions | of the senses” (IV, 58). On the one | hand, they are too dull and too | gross, and let the more subtle parts | of nature escape our observation: | their range is limited to the most | conspicuous information. On the other | hand, they are misleading, by a | fundamental illusion: they offer | things to the mind according to the | measure of human nature. “For it is a | false assertion that the sense of man | is the measure of things. On the | contrary, all perceptions as well of | the sense as of the mind are | according to the measure of the | individual and not according to the | measure of the universe” (IV, 54). In | order to have access to reality, we | have to rectify their information and | reduce a double delusion: the | illusion that the sensible qualities | offered by them are the real | determinations of things and the | illusion that things are divided | according to our human sensibility | (IV, 194 et sq.). |
| Thus we can understand a third | critique against the old method: the | Aristotelian logic rests upon a | metaphysics which believes that | sensible experience gives the human | mind the things as they are, with | their essential qualities, and that | philosophy can be satisfied with | taking empirical phenomena for the | true reality of nature, thanks to a | mere generalization that erases the | particular circumstances of | existence. Nevertheless, empirically | qualified existences are not to be | mistaken for the things themselves. | So far, Bacon is undoubtedly a | modern, since he claims that the | object of knowledge is reality and | that reality, if it can be | inductively known from empirical | data, cannot be reduced to the matter | of experience.
| Bacon’s fourth censure of the old | logic follows from this. He agrees | with the sixteenth-century | dialecticians that Aristotle was | wrong when he thought that | understanding could skip, without the | hard work of induction, from what is | immediately given to the senses to | what is posed in the first principles | of science. Aristotle wanted to know | the truth, but did not explain the | method of invention. On the other | hand, the dialecticians, giving up | the attempt to set up the first | principles (and thereby the | traditional Aristotelian | demonstrative science), gave up any | attempt to reach the truth. They only | retained the deductive and systematic | form of discourse to introduce order | into men’s opinions, and maintained | that invention could be reduced to | the mere search for arguments, that | is, for probable reasons invented to | persuade or convince. |
| Bacon, however, wants to promote the | idea of an inductive science and | argues that Aristotle’s mistake | affects the syllogistic form. In the | fourth chapter of the fifth book of | the DE AUGMENTIS, Bacon develops a | remarkable critique of the syllogism | and is partly responsible for the | widespread disregard of formal logic | in the seventeenth and eighteenth | centuries.
| According to Bacon, “in all | inductions, whether in good or | vicious form the same action of the | mind which inventeth, judgeth” (III, | 392). One cannot find without | proving, nor prove without finding. | But this is not the case in the | syllogism: “for the proof being not | immediate but by mean, the invention | of the mean is one thing, and the | judgement of the consequence is | another, the one exciting only, the | other examining” (III, 392). The | syllogism needs the means (the middle | term) so that the derived conclusion | amounts to a proof. But since the | syllogism is incapable of inventing | the middle term, it must have been | known before. In other words, | syllogistic form leaves the invention | of the middle term to the natural | shrewdness of the mind or to good | fortune. Thus, it is because of its | own demonstrative form that the | syllogism is unable to provide a | method of truth and is useless for | science.
| By now it is clear why the old logic | and the knowledge which is built on it | are unable to produce works or why the | extant works “are due to chance and | experience rather than to sciences” | (IV, 48). To deduce practical effects, | the mind must know real causes or laws | of nature. Since the old method does | not supply the mind with the means of | inventing causes and does not set up | the scale of the intermediate | propositions that are needed to reduce | sensible experience and reach the real | science, or to derive rightly and by | degrees the consequences from the | principles, it is not surprising that | invented works are too few and not | very useful for men’s lives. Thus, | from the start in sensible experience | to the end in practical deduction, | this old method is of no use. And an | entirely new one must be proposed, | which will be able to carry the human | mind from empirical data to the real | causes, to supply it with the means of | invention, to justify the position of | first truths and to manage a secure | deduction of practical consequences. | And, as the critique of the old logic | has to be understood as a whole, so | the interpretation of nature has to be | conceived as a continuous attempt, | proceeding by degrees, by successive | stages, to invent truth and to derive | works. (“Bacon’s method of science”, | in: THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO BACON. | ed. by Markku Peltonen [1996], 76-82). |
| 1C.
| Harvey Wheeler comments: |
| Most historians of the philosophy of science | are unfamiliar with Bacon’s transformation | of his innovative theory of juridical | lawfinding into scientific empiricist | lawfinding. Baconian law-finding is not to | be confused with cause-finding in modern | “classical” physics. |
| Bacon’s quest changed as he matured. In | VALERIUS TERMINUS he is writing in | English, trying to lay the groundwork for | the validity of the co-existence of Religion | and Science.
| Bacon’s early experimental treatises–like | Dense and Rare–are experimental and of | limited value. Historians of the philosophy | of science have little trouble in disposing | these early experimentalist efforts of Bacon. |
| His work on sound was somewhat better– | experimental-theoretical. It is a | post-pythagorean theory of harmonics and | still not appropriately analyzed. | Contemproary musicologists like to quote | the passages on sound in NEW ATLANTIS | for being compatible with today’s approach | to music.
| By the time of the Novum Organum Bacon | was seeking a more “general theory of | science.” Its ‘logic machine’ (Hooke) was | designed to be relevant to all | non-theological domains. |
| However, most Bacon interpreters evaluate | his science in contrast to the prior | Aristotelian approaches and in comparison | to the Ramist approaches of Bacon’s day. | He rejected them both. |
| Scholars then look beyond Bacon and | evaluate his logic machine in contrast to the | “classical mechanics” of Newtonian Optics | (physics): linear time-sequence prediction. |
| Bacon was not seeking that type of | “cause/prediction”science. He was seeking | hidden, “unwritten” “laws” of nature, | more on the model of Pasteur than of | Newton.
| Any treatment that tries to interpret | Bacon’s Logic Machine in the light of what | classical physics called “science” will | distort Bacon’s meaning and achievement. |
| Note: if a scholar’s interpretation of | Bacon’s Science does not square with the | detailed description of the application of | Bacon’s science in “Salomon’s House” in | NEW ATLANTIS, it should be viewed with | scepticism.
| Bacon’s science is more applicable to what | we call post-modern neo-hermeutics than to | Newtonian mechanics. (Patrick Heelan is | good on post-modern neo-hermeneutics.) |
| Consider: why did Bacon conclude that his | New Logic Machine would produce | scientific knowledge in the form of | aphorisms and apothegms–not linear | time-sequence predictions? |
| To summarize the above:: Most | contemporary interpreters of Bacon | evaluate his science by comparison with | Newtonian mechanics. If one interprets | Bacon on the basis of classical mechanics, | the result will not truly reflect Bacon’s | science.
| A more fruitful modern model is the | Watson-Crick type of “science” illustrated | by their discovery of the double helix. Their | process, as described carefully in Watson’s | book, could have been lifted from Bacon. It | was not. But the point is that it tells of a | highly successful, highly empiricist (in | Bacon’s and Kant’s meaning of | phenomenological empiricism) approach to | the “understanding” of the “unwritten | laws” of cell theory and genetics. |
| NOTE: It is very instructive to study why | Linus Pauling failed to dsiscover the genetic | code. He was an expert in the physics of | biochemistry and applied quantum theory | to molecular biology. His theory of the | molecular bond won a Nobel Laureate. |
| Read Watson’s explanation of why Pauling | failed to crack the genetic code. |
| Guenther Stent, the molecular biologist of | U.C. Berkeley is an avowed Kantian | who narrowly missed cracking the genetic | code, His philosophy of science is | highly relevant to the application of | neo-hermeneutics to contemporary biology. |
| Today’s philosophy of physics, as developed | by John Wheeler and David Bohm | describes a “Baconian” idea of the | “participant-observer universe” to account | “scientifically” and empirically for the | evidence produced in post-modern physics. |
| I hold to two points that may not persuade | others. The first is the relevance of | “law-finding” to the phenemonological | empiricism at the heart of Bacon’s Nov Org | logic machine–as contrasted with his early | experimentalism. The second is the | standard for us to use in evaluating Bacon’s | science. Those who apply the model of | science widespread in the social sciences | and humanities during the 19th and mid | 20th centuries–essentially a model based | upon pre-Einsteinian physics–argue that | Bacon’s science is not “science.” |
| In the last half of the 20th century | “science” in both the “hard” and “soft” | sciences underwent the so-called “second | scientific revolution.” The results, in | physics and biology, produced a | phenomenology and an empiricism | that were both quite compatible with the | pre-Newtonian science of Bacon. |
| About 80% of the actual research in | laboratories done today by scientists of | all fields, (unaware) follows remarkably | closely to the process explained by | Bacon in Novum Organum and described in | New Atlantis–except that taskforce | research is not today quite as well | organized as was described by Bacon in | New Atlantis.
| In thinking of Bacon’s philosophy of science | remember the three features in the Latin of | Novum Organum: Schematismus, | Processus, Form. These operations, which | have counterparts in the “case method” of | searching for the implicit unwritten law | behind a series of judge rulings, cannot be | understood from a reading of the Ellis | translation. Nobody who works from that | version can understand, nor do justice to, | Bacon’s science. with the Annotations of |
Hermes Stella{2} | 2. Franz Trägfer sums up the Harley MSS.6463 | discussion on “Hermes Stella” | and “Valerius Terminus” “Der Titel des | Fragments wurde zweimal entscheidend | interpretiert. Ellis (Vorwort, | 201/2):
| “It is impossible to ascertain | the motive which determined | Bacon to give the supposed | author the name of Valerius | Terminus, or to his | commentator, of whose | annotations we have no remains, | that of Hermes Stella. It may | be conjectured that by the name | Terminus he intended to | intimate that the new | philosophy would put an end to | the wandering of mankind in | search of truth, that it would | be the TERMINUS AD QAEM in | which when it was once attained | the mind would finally | acquiesce.
| Again the obscurity of the text | was to be in some measure | removed by the annotations of | Stella; not however wholly, for | Bacon in the epitome of the | eighteenth chapter commends the | manner of publishing knowledge | ‘whereby it shall not be to the | capacity nor taste of all, but | shall as it were single and | adopt his reader.’ Stella was | therefore to throw a kind of | starlight on the subject, | enough to prevent the student’s | losing his way, but not much | more.”
| Die andere klassische | Interpretation gibt Anderson | (op.cit.16/17):
| “The word ‘terminus’ probably | indicates the ‘limits and end’ | to which investigation may | proceed. The ANNOTATIONS, of | which ‘none are set down in | this fragments’–to quote a | statement written on the | manuscript by Bacon’s hand, are | to throw a light as by a star | (STELLA). Now ‘star’ is the | symbol used by Bacon in the | GESTA GRAYORUM, the ADVANCEMENT | OF LEARNING, and the DE | AUGMENTIS to represent the | sovereign. And the significance | which he attaches to the word | ‘Hermes’ is evident from his | address to King James in the | Introduction to the ADVANCEMENT | OF LEARNING. ‘There is met in | your Majesty, says Bacon, ‘a | rare conjunction as well of | divine and sacred literature as | of profane and human; so as | your Majesty standeth invested | of that triplicity which in | great veneration was ascribed | to the ancient Hermes; the | power and fortune of a King, | the knowledge and illumination | of a Priest, and the learning | and the universality of a | Philosopher.’ Bacon is, or | pretended to be, greatly | impressed by James’s learning: | ‘To drink indeed’, he says, ‘of | the true fountains of learning, | nay to have such a fountain of | learning in himself, in a king, | and in a king born, is always a | miracle.’ And it would appear | that he hopes at the beginning | of James’s reign–long before | he suffers disillusionment | respecting his sovereign’s | interest in the advance of | ‘solid’ knowledge–that, | whether or not he can obtain a | greater position of state | beyond that alloted to him by | Elizabeth, he may be enabled to | have the modern Hermes, king of | the realm and head of the | church, and a literary man of | no mean fame and importance, | annote a subject’s work on the | new science. James, when he has | done this, may well be | prevailed upon to make | provision for the operation of | the new method of knowledge | either by subsidizing helpers | or by placing at the author’s | disposal old or new foundations | of learning (Works, II, 175, | 180; VI, 90, 172; VIII, 396, | 401).”
| Brandt (op.cit., 54) Iehnt | diese Interpretation ab: | “1. findet sich keine klare | Bezeichnung des Königs als | eines Sterns, es läßt sich den | von Anderson angegebenen Texten | nicht entnehmen, daß Stella als | Symbol für Jakob I. zu gelten | hat. 2. kann nur ein König als | Hermes-Trismegistos | angesprochen werden (so VIII, | 335 und I, 432, nicht in der | englischen Fassung III, 263), | weil im Namen die Einheit von | Priester, Philosoph und König | liegt, aber im Titel unserer | Schrift steht nur Hermes, und | die Figur des Hermes hat eme | vielfältige Bedeutung; Hermes | ist der Grenzgott, auf ihn wird | schon in dem Wort ‘Terminus’ | des Titels angespielt; weiter | ist Hermes der Götterbote, der | ‘hermeneus’ oder Interpret– | die Hermesmythologie ist | hineingesponnen in die | interpretatio naturae, die sich | Bacon zur Aufgabe stellt und in | seine Rolle als ‘keryx´ und | `buccinator’, als Bote des | Friedens (I, 580-581). Man wird | also lieber Hermes Stella eine | der vielen Masken Bacons sein | lassen und sich damit zugleich | von der peinlichen Vorstellung | befreien, Bacon künde im Titel | seines Werkes an, daß der König | die Fußnoten dazu verfaßt (eben | das folgt aus der Annahme von | Anderson).”
| Dieser Auseinandersetzung urn | die Bedeutung des Titels eine | neue Erklärung anzufügen, halte | ich, solange keine neuen | Dokumente gefunden werden, für | wenig sinnvoll. Allein, es sei | angemerkt, wollten wir uns mit | Brandt von dieser peinlichen | Vorstellung bezüglich Bacons | Denken und Trachten befreien, | so blieben noch genug | Peinlichkeiten der Hybris | Bacons.”
| Franz Träger (Hg.), Valerius | Terminus. Von der | Interpretation der Natur | Würzburg: Königshausen und | Neumann, 1984,25-26. |
in: The Works of Francis Bacon. Faksimile- | Neudruck der Ausgabe von Spedding, Ellis | und Heath, London 1857-1874, in vierzehn | Bänden (Stuttgart/Bad Cannstadt: Friedrich | Fromann, Verlag Günther Holzboog, 1963), | vol. 3.{3} | 3. Franz Träger discovered that the | Spedding & Ellis as MS6462 is not | correct, in fact it is MS6463. In | his opinion Valerius Terminus was | written before The Advancement of | Learning. Anderson, Farrington | and Rossi also have the opinion | that it was written in 1603. | Stephens in his edition of 1734 | uses the same order as the | handwritten copy of Bacon’s text. | Later editors, including Spedding | and Ellis, choose an order which | corresponds to Bacon’s new order | of chapters given in his index. | Franz Träger compared the | translation of the 11th chapter | with the translation of Guiseppe | Furlani, DIE ENTSTEHUNG UND DAS | WESEN DER BACONISCHEN METHODE in: | Archiv für Geschichte der | Philosophie, ed. L. Stein, 33. | Bd., Berlin, 1921, S.23-47. (1. | Teil, 32. Bd., S. 189 ff). | Träger has also checked the | following Bacon translations: |
| ESSAYS, übers. von Elisabeth | Schücking, Stuttgart, 1970; |
| NEUES ORGANON DER WISSENSCHAFTEN, | übers. von Anton Theobald Brück, | Darmstadt, 1981 (Nachdruck der | Ausgabe, Leipzig, 1830); |
| NOVUM ORGANON, übers. von Rudolf | Hoffmann, bearb. von Gertraud Korf, | hrsg. von Manfred Buhr, Berlin (DDR), | 1982.
CAP. 1. |
Of the limits and end of knowledge. | |
In the divine nature both religion and | philosophy hath acknowledged goodness in | perfection, science or providence |
comprehending all things, and absolute | sovereignty or kingdom. In aspiring to the | throne of power the angels transgressed | and fell{4}, in presuming to come within | 4. Antje Peters checked the Old the oracle of knowledge man transgressed | Testament and the New Testament on the and | fall of the angels: |
| Jesaja 14, 14 | Das Judentum ist geprägt von der | antithetisch parallelen Vorstellung | von Dämonen und Engeln als Schädiger | bzw. Helfer des Menschen. Sie wird in | der Erzählung vom Engelfall entfaltet. |
| Das Buch Jesaja (Jes 14,12ff)14:12 | Ach, du bist vom Himmel gefallen, du | strahlender Sohn der Morgenröte. Zu | Boden bist du geschmettert, du | Bezwinger der Völker. |
| 14:13 Du aber hattest in deinem | Herzen gedacht: Ich ersteige den | Himmel; dort oben stelle ich meinen | Thron auf, über den Sternen Gottes; | auf den Berg der (Götter)versammlung | setze ich mich, im äußersten Norden. |
| 14:14 Ich steige weit über die Wolken | hinauf, um dem Höchsten zu gleichen. |
| 14:15 Doch in die Unterwelt wirst du | hinabgeworfen, in die äußerste Tiefe. |
| Im AT gehörte Satan zu den “Söhnen | Gottes” im himmlischen Hofstaat, wie | die wohl alte Vorstellung Ijob 1,6 | zeigt.
| Das Buch Ijob (Ijob 1,6)1:6 Nun | geschah es eines Tages, da kamen die | Gottessöhne, um vor den Herrn | hinzutreten; unter ihnen kam auch der | Satan.
| Er gilt als Diener Gottes und | verkörpert eine ursprünglich Gott | zugeschriebene Funktion. | Der von dann von Gott abgefallene und | mit seinem Diener aus dem Himmel | gestürzte Engelsfürst wird zum Gegner | Gottes und Verführer der Menschen. |
| Auch im NT findet der Teufel als ein | oder der Fürst der gefallenen bösen | Engel Erwähnung. |
| Das Evangelium nach Lukas (Lk | 10,18)10:18 Da sagte er zu ihnen: Ich | sah den Satan wie einen Blitz vom | Himmel fallen.
| Der zweite Brief an die Korinther (2 | Kor 11,14)11:14 Kein Wunder, denn auch | der Satan tarnt sich als Engel des | Lichts.
| Neben den Bibeltexten wird Bacon auch | “De Civitate Dei” (Der Gottesstaat) | von Aurelius Augustinus, dem größten | lateinischen Kirchenlehrer des | christlichen Altertums, vorgelegen | haben, in der das Thema Engelfall | mehrfach unter verschiedenen | Gesichtspunkten erwähnt wird. | So wird im elften Buch die Situation | der Engel besonders beleuchtet. |
| Buch XI, 11 | … Von dieser Erleuchtung haben sich | gewisse Engel abgewendet und sich die | Auszeichnung eines weisen und seligen | Lebens nicht bewahrt, das zweifellos | nur das ewige, seiner Ewigkeit sichere | und vergewisserte Leben sein kann. Sie | besitzen nur noch ein Vernunftleben, | wenn auch ein einsichtsloses und | derart, daß sie es, selbst wenn sie | wollen, nicht verlieren können. … |
| Buch XI, 13 | … Die sündigen Engel, die durch ihre | Schlechtigkeit jenes Lichtes verlustig | gingen, haben sie (die | Glückseligkeit), wie wir schlüssig | folgern müssen, auch bevor sie fielen, | nicht gehabt. … |
| Buch XI, 19 | … Denn diese Scheidung (zwischen | Licht und Finsteris) konnte nur er | allein treffen, der auch, bevor sie | fielen, ihren künftigen Fall | vorauswissen kont, und daß sie, des | Lichtes der Wahrheit verlustig, im | finsteren Hochmut verharren würden. |
| Buch XI, 33 | Daß es aber Engel gibt, die gesündigt | haben und in die tiefste Tiefe dieser | Welt verstoßen sind, die ihnen zu | einer Art von Kerker wurde, darin sie | bis zur bevorstehenden letzten | Verurteilung am Tage des Gerichtes zu | bleiben haben: das offenbart ganz | deutlich der Apostel Petrus. Er sagt, | daß Gott die sündigen Engel nicht | geschont, sondern sie in die finsteren | Abgründe der Hölle hinabgestoßen hat, | wo die bis zur Bestrafung im Gerichte | gefangengehalten werden. … | … Und da ja Gott, wie geschrieben | steht, “den Stolzen widersteht, den | Demütigen aber Gnade gibt” (Jak 4,6; 1 | Petr 5,5), wohnt die eine | (Engelsgenossenschaft) im Himmel der | Himmel und ist die andre von dort | hinabgestürzt in diesen untersten | Lufthimmel, um hier ruhelos in und her | zu schwirren.
| Buch XXII,1 | Gott ist es, der mit dem freiwilligen | Sturz der Engel die völlig gerechte | Strafe ewiger Unseligkeit verknüpft | hat und den übrigen Engeln, die im | höchsten Gut verblieben sind, als Lohn | für ihr Verbleiben die Sicherheit | gewährt hat, daß dieses Verbleiben | kein Ende haben wird. |
| Aufgrund dieser Erkenntnisse zieht | Augustin Parallelen zum Leben der | Menschen, besonders im 12. Buch: |
| Buch XII,1
| … Während die einen standhaft in dem | allen gemeinsamen Gut, das für sie | Gott selbst ist, und in seiner | Ewigkeit, Wahrheit und Liebe | verharren, sind die anderen, von ihrer | eigenen Macht berauscht, als wären sie | sich selbst ihr Gut , vom höheren, | allen gemeinsamen, beseligenden Gut | zum eigenen Selbst abgefallen. … fell{5}: but in pursuit towards the | 5. Spedding’s footnote:This clause is similitude of God’s goodness or love | repeated in the margin, in the (which is one thing, for love is nothing | transcriber’s hand. else but goodness put in motion or | applied) neither man or spirit ever | hath transgressed, or shall transgress.{6} | 6. similarly in: : I.M. Praefatio Sp. | I,132, 19-22; AL Sp. III, 12 seq. The angel of light that was, when he | (D.A. Sp. I, 742, 1 9 seq. (footnote presumed before his fall, said within | taken from the French translation of himself, I WILL ASCEND AND BE LIKE UNTO | Valerius Terminus by Francois Vert, | Meridiens Klincksieck, 1986) THE HIGHEST{7}; not God, but the highest. | 7. Isaiah 14, 14: To be like to God in goodness, was no part | Authorized Version: I will ascend of his emulation; knowledge, being in | above the heights of the clouds; I creation an angel of light, was not the | will be like the most high. want which did most solicit him; only | because he was a minister he aimed at a | supremacy; therefore his climbing or | ascension was turned into a throwing down | or precipitation. |
Man on the other side, when he was tempted | before he fell, had offered unto him this | suggestion, THAT HE SHOULD BE LIKE | UNTO GOD{8}. But how? Not simply, but in | 8. Genesis 3, 5: this part, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL. For | Authorized Version: For God does know being in his creation invested with | that in the day ye eat thereof, then sovereignty of all inferior | your eyes shall be opened, and ye | shall be as gods, knowing good and | evil.
| For Bacon’s alleged use of the Geneva | Bible see Henri Durel-Leon in | Transactions of the Cambridge | Bibliographical Society, XI:2 (1997), | p. 160 and n. 74, modified in the | direction of AV by, probably, Lancelot | Andrewes in AL. (Thanks to Dr. | Leedham-Green)
| Geneva Bible: The First Boke of Moses, | called Genesis, Chap 3,4+5: Then the | serpent said to the woman, Ye shal not | dye at all, But God doeth knowe, that | when ye shall eat thereof, your eyes | shalbe opened, & ye shalbe as gods | knowing good and evil. [footnote c: As | thogh he shulde say, God doeth not | forbid you to eat of the frute, save | that he knoweth that if you shulde eat | thereof, you shulde be like to him] |
| Authorized Version: And the serpent | said unto the woman, Ye shall not | surely die: For God doth know that in | the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes | shall be opened, and ye shall be as | gods, knowing good and evil. |
| Vulgata: dixit autem serpens ad | mulierem nequaquam morte moriemini / | scit enim Deus quod in quocumque die | comederitis ex eo aperientur oculi | vestri et eritis sicut dii scientes | bonum et malum
creatures{9}, he was not needy of power or | 9. Genesis I, 1,26 dominion; but again, being a spirit newly | Geneva Bible: Furthermore God said, inclosed in a body of earth, he was | Let us make man in our image according fittest to be allured with appetite of | to our lickeness, and let them rule light and liberty of knowledge; therefore | over the fish of the sea, and over the this approaching and intruding into God’s | foule of the heaven, and over the secrets and mysteries was rewarded with a | beastes, & over all the earth, and further removing and estranging from God’s | over everiething that crepeth & moveth presence. But as to the goodness of God, | on earth. there is no danger in contending or | advancing towards a similitude thereof, as | Authorized Version: And God said, Let that which is open and propounded to our | us make man in our image, after our imagination. For that voice (whereof the | likeness: and let them have dominion heathen and all other errors of religion | over the fish of the sea, and over the have ever confessed that it sounds not | fowl of the air, and over the cattle, like man), LOVE YOUR ENEMIES; BE YOU LIKE | and over all the earth, and over every UNTO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER, THAT SUFFERETH | creeping thing that creepeth upon the HIS RAIN TO FALL BOTH UPON | earth. |
| Vulgata: Et ait faciamus hominem ad | imaginem et similitudinem nostram et | praesit piscibus maris et volatilibus | caeli et bestiis universaeque terrae | omnique reptili quod movetur in terra THE JUST AND THE UNJUST{10}, doth well | 10. Matthew 5, 44-45 declare, that we can in that point commit | Geneva Bible: Love your enemies… no excess; so again we find it often | That you may be the children of your repeated in the old law, BE YOU HOLY AS I | Father that is in heaven: for he AM | maketh his sunne to arise on the | evil, and the good, and he sendeth | raine on the iuste, & unjuste. |
| Authorized Version: Love your | enemies:… That you may be the | children of your father which is in | heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise | on the evil and on the good, and | sendeth rain on the just and on the | unjust.
| Vulgata: Ego autem dico vobis diligite | inimicos vestros … ut sitis filii | Patris vestri qui in caelis est qui | solem suum oriri facit super bonos et | malos et pluit super iustos et | iniustos.
HOLY{11}; and what is holiness else but | 11. Leviticus 11,44: goodness, as we consider it separate and | Authorized Version: For I am the Lord guarded from all mixture and all access of | your God: ye shall therefore sanctify evil? | yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for | I am holy: neither shall ye defile Wherefore seeing that knowledge is of the | yourself with any manner of creeping number of those things which are to be | thing that creepeth upon the earth. accepted of with caution and | 1 Peter 1, 16: |
| Authorized Version: For it is written, | Be ye holy; for I am holy. | see also Leviticus 20,7 and 20,26 distinction{12}; being now to open a | 12. cf. A.L. Sp.III, 264, 1.18 (D.A. fountain, such as it is not easy to | Sp. I, 433, I. 29,30) discern where the issues and streams | thereof will take and fall; I thought it | good and necessary in the first place to | make a strong and sound head or bank to | rule and guide the course of the waters; | by setting down this position or |
firmament{13}, namely, THAT ALL KNOWLEDGE | 13. Melek Hasgün comments: IS TO BE LIMITED BY RELIGION, AND TO BE | ‘Firmament’ means, apart from the arch REFERRED | or vault of heaven overhead, in which | the clouds and the stars appear, in | the literal etymological sense a firm | support or foundation. At the | beginning of his text Bacon sets | the basis for his further theories. | According to Bacon it is important not | to try to find out the secrets and | mysteries of God or to desire to be | like God, as was the case in the Fall | of Man and the Fall of Angels. Thus it | is forbidden to exceed these limits, | but to inquire into nature and its | creatures is legitimate, because God | has “…let man have dominion over | (…) all the earth…”(Gen.I, 1,26). | He maintains that all knowledge is | limited by religion and by this | statement he also avoids any suspicion | on heresy, which could arise because | of his desire for progress and | knowledge.
TO USE AND ACTION{14}. | 14. “Ad meritum et usus vitae”, Works, | vol. I, p. 132 ; Italics in order to For if any man shall think by view and | stress the importance; probably not a inquiry into these sensible and material | quotation. things, to attain to any light for the | revealing of the nature or will of God, he | shall dangerously abuse himself. It is | true that the contemplation of the | creatures of God hath for end (as to the | natures of the creatures themselves) | knowledge, but as to the nature of God, no | knowledge, but wonder; which is nothing | else but contemplation broken off, or | losing itself. Nay further, as it was | aptly said by one of Plato’s school THE | SENSE OF MAN RESEMBLES THE SUN, WHICH | OPENETH AND REVEALETH THE TERRESTRIAL | GLOBE, BUT OBSCURETH AND CONCEALETH THE | CELESTIAL{15}; so doth the sense discover | 15. Philo d’Alexandrie, Des Songes, natural things, but darken and shut up | Livre I, 83-4 (footnote taken from the divine. And this appeareth sufficiently in | Vert translation) that there is no proceeding in invention | of knowledge but by similitude; and God is | only self-like, having nothing in common | with any creature, otherwise than as in | shadow and trope. Therefore attend his | will as himself openeth it, and give unto | faith that which unto faith belongeth{16}; | 16. St. Matthew 22, 21: for more worthy it is to believe than to | Authorized Version: … Then saith he think or know, considering that in | unto them, Render therefore unto knowledge (as we now are capable of it) | Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; the mind suffereth from inferior natures; | and unto God the things that are but in all belief it suffereth from a | God’s. spirit which it holdeth superior and | more authorised than itself.{17} | 17. cf. A.L. Sp. III,478,1.8 sq. (D.A. | Sp. I, 830, I. 24 seq. To conclude, the prejudice hath been | infinite that both divine and human | knowledge hath received by the |
intermingling and tempering of the one | with the other; as that which hath filled | the one full of heresies, and the other | full of speculative fictions and | 18. similarly: A.L. Sp.III, 350,I.24 Vanities{18}. | seq. (D.A. Sp. I, 545, I.35 swq.) | John Channing Briggs (“”Bacon’s But now there are again which in a | science and religion”, in: THE contrary extremity to those which give to | CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO BACON, ed. by contemplation an over-large scope, do | Markku Peltonen, Cambridge 1996) offer too great a restraint to natural and | comments on Bacon’s separation of lawful knowledge, being unjustly jealous | divinity and natural philosophy that every reach and depth of knowledge | (quotations in Briggs’ text are from wherewith their conceits have not been | THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING): acquainted, should be too high an |
elevation of man’s wit, and a searching | A longstanding commonplace in Bacon and ravelling too far into God’s secrets; | scholarship has been the notion that an opinion that ariseth either of envy | the Baconian advancement of learning (which is proud weakness and to be | depends upon a strict separation of censured and not confuted), or else of a | divinity and natural philosophy. In deceitful simplicity. For if they mean | a number of memorable passages Bacon that the ignorance of a second cause doth | indeed warns his readers of the dire make men more devoutly to depend upon the | consequences of confusing divinity providence of God, as supposing the | with natural science: to combine effects to come immediately from his hand, | them, he says, is to confound them. I demand of them, as Job demanded of his | This is supposedly what Plato and the friends, WILL YOU LIE FOR GOD AS MAN WILL | scholastics did, and what Bacon FOR MAN TO | explicitly designs the new learning | to overcome. Even the acceptable | hybrid “divine philosophy,” when it | is “commixed together” with natural | philosophy, leads to “an heretical | religion, and an imaginary and | fabulous philosophy” (III, 350). | According to this emphatic strand of | Baconian doctrine, religion that | joins with the study of nature is in | danger of becoming atheistic, or an | enthusiastic rival of the true | church. Natural philosophy that | traffics unwisely with divinity | collapses into idolatry or fakery. |
| Bacon’s exemplum of these abuses in a | modern proto-science is the divine | philosophy of the Paracelsian school, | which seeks “the truth of all natural | philosophy in the Scriptures.” The | Paracelsians mirror and reverse the | heresies of pagan pantheism by | seeking what is “dead” (mortal or | natural) from among the “living” | (eternal) truths of divinity, when | “the scope or purpose of the Spirit | of God is not to express matters of | nature in the Scriptures, otherwise | than in passage, and for application | to man’s capacity and to matters | moral or divine” (ut 485-6). If we | take Thomas Sprat at his word, the | Royal Society was founded on | generally similar principles. The | first corruption of knowledge, he | argues, resulted from the Egyptians’ | concealment of wisdom “as sacred | Mysteries.” The current age of | inquiry benefitted from “the | dissolution of the ABBYES, whereby | their Libraries came forth into the | light, and fell into industrious Mens | hands.” Surrounded by the warring | forces of contrary religions (the | society’s rooms at Gresham College, | London, were occupied by soldiers in | 1658), the founders of the Royal | Society–according to Sprat’s | account–were “invincibly arm’d” not | only against scholastic Catholicism, | but against the “inchantments of | ENTHUSIASM” and “spiritual Frensies” | that sometimes characterized the | Protestant revolutionaries. |
| In Bacon’s project, there is an | explicit, delineated role for the | study of divinity, which he carefully | separates from his own work. Reason | is at work “in the conception and | apprehension of the mysteries of God | to us revealed” and in “the inferring | and deriving of doctrine and | direction thereupon” (III, 479). In | the first instance reason stirs | itself only to grasp and illustrate | revelation; it does not inquire. This | is the foundation of Bacon’s | distinction between true natural | philosophy, which inquires into the | world as God’s manifestation of his | GLORY or power, and true theology, | which piously interprets the | scripturally revealed meaning of | God’s inscrutable will. The natural | world declares God’s glory but not | his will (III, 478). Reason’s power | in theology therefore “consisteth of | probation and argument.” lt | formulates doctrine only insofar as | God’s revelation, largely or wholly | through Scripture, makes it possible. | The Lord “doth grift [graft) his | revelations and holy doctrine upon | the notions of our reason, and | applieth his inspirations to open our | understanding” (III, 480). (pp. 172- | 173)
GRATIFY HIM?{19} But if any man without | 19. Job 13, 7-9: any sinister humour doth indeed make doubt | Authorized Version: Will ye speak that this digging further and further into | wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully | for him? Will ye accept his person? | will ye contend for God? Is it good | that he should search you out? as one | man mocketh another, do ye so mock | him?
the mine of natural knowledge{20} is a | 20. This image is also used in A.L. Sp. thing without example and uncommended in | III, 351, I, 16 where Bacon refers to the Scriptures, or fruitless; let him | Democritus (Vert’s footnote) remember and be instructed; for behold it | was not that pure light of natural | knowledge, whereby man in paradise was | able to give unto every living creature a | name according to his propriety{21}, which | 21. Genesis 2,19-20 gave occasion to the fall; but it was an | Geneva Bible: So the Lord God formed aspiring desire to attain to that part of | of the earth everie beast of the moral knowledge which defineth of good and | field, and everie foule of the heaven, evil, whereby to dispute God’s | & broght them unto the man to se how commandments and not to depend upon the | he wolde call them: for howsoever the revelation of his will, which was the | man named the living creature, so was original temptation. And the first holy | the name thereof.The man therefore records, which within those brief | gave names unto all cattle, and to the memorials of things which passed before | foule of the heaven, and to everie the flood entered few things as worthy to | beast of the field: but for Adam found be registered but only | he not an help mete for him. |
| Authorized Version: And out of the | ground the Lord God formed every beast | of the field, and every fowl of the | air; and brought THEM unto Adam to see | what he would call them: and | whatsoever Adam called every living | creature, that WAS the name thereof. | And Adam gave names to all cattle, and | to the fowl of the air, and to every | beast of the field; but for Adam there | was not found an help meet for him. |
| Vulgata:Igitur Dominus Deus de humo | cunctis animantibus terrae et | universis volatilibus caeli adduxit ea | ad Adam ut videret quid vocaret ea / | omne enim quod vovavit Adam animae | viventis ipsum est nomen eius / | appelavitque Adam nominibus suis | cuncat animantia / et universa | volatilia et omnes bestias terrae / | Adam vero non inveniebatur adiutor | similis eius
lineages{22} and propagations, yet | 22. Spedding’s footnote: LINAGES in nevertheless honour the remembrance | original. See note 3, p. 148 of the inventor both of music{23} and | 23. Genesis 4,21: | Authorized Version: And his brother’s | name was Jubal: he was the father of | all such as handle the harp and organ. |
| Vulgata: et nomen fratris eius Iuabal | ipse fuit pater canentium cithara et | organo
works in metal{24}. Moses again (who was | 24. Genesis, 4,22: the reporter) is said to have been seen in | Authorized Version: And Zillah, she all | also bare Tubalcain, an instructor of | every artificer in brass and iron… |
| Vulgata: Sella quoque genuit | Thubalcain qui fuitmalleator et faber | in cuncta opera aeris et ferri… the Egyptian learning{25}, which nation | 25. The Acts 7,22: was early and leading in matter of | Authorized Version: And Moses was | learned in all the wisdom of the | Egyptians, and was mighty in words and | deeds.
knowledge. And Salomon the king,{26} as | 26. cf. A.L. Sp.III, 298,I.38; N.A. Sp. out of a branch of his wisdom | III, 145, I seq. extraordinarily petitioned and granted | from God, is said to have written a | natural history of all that is green from | the cedar to the moss{27}, (which is but a | 27. 1 Kings 4, 29-34 rudiment between putrefaction and | Geneva Bible: And God gave Salomon | wisdome, und understanding exceeding | muche, and a large heart, even as the | sand that is on the sea shore. And | Salomons wisdome excelled the wisdome | of all the children of the East and | all the wisdome of Egypt. For he was | wiser than anie man…. and he was | famous throughout all nacions rounde | about. And Salomon spake thre thousand | proverbes: and his songs were a | thousand and five. And he spake of | trees, from the cedar tre that is in | Lebanon, even unto the hyssope that | springeth out of the wall: he spake | also of beastes, and of foules, and of | creping things, and of fishes. And | there came all the people to heare the | wisdome of Salomon, from all Kings of | the earth, which had heard of his | wisdome.
| Authorized Version:And God gave | Salomon wisdom and understanding | exceeding much, and largeness of | heart, even as the sand that is on the | sea shore. And Salomon’s wisdom | excelled the wisdom of all the | children of the east country, and all | the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser | than all men…and his fame was in all | nations round about. And he spake | three thousands proverbs; and his | songs were a thousand and five. And he | spake of trees, from the cedar tree | that is in Lebanon even unto the | hyssop that springeth out of the wall: | he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, | and of creeping things, and of fishes. | And there came all people to hear the | wisdom of Salomon. From all kings of | the earth, which had heard of his | wisdom.
| Vulgata: Liber Malachim 4, 29-34: | Dedit quoque Deus sapientiam Salomoni | et prudentiam multam nimis et | latitudinem cordis quasi harenam quae | est in litore maris / et praecedebat | sapientia Salomonis sapientiam omnium | orientalium et Aegyoptorum / et erat | sapientia cunctis hominibus.. Et erat | nominatus inuniversis gentibus per | cicuitum / locutus est quoque Salomon | tria milia parabolas et fuerunt | carmina eius quinque et mille / et | disputavit super lignis a cedro quae | est in Libano usque ad hysopum quae | egreditur de pariete et disseuit de | iumentis et volucribus et reptilibus | et piscibus / et veniebant de cunctis | populis ad audiendam sapientiam | Salomonis et ab universis regibus | terrae qui audiebant sapientiam eius |
| Luther Bible: 1. Könige 5, 9-14 |