Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson

By Benjamin Rand | Go to book overview

FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)

NOVUM ORGANUM*

Translated from the Latin by JAMES SPEDDING


APHORISMS CONCERNING THE INTERPRETATION OF NATURE AND THE KINGDOM OF MAN

"THE IDOLS"

I

MAN, being the servant and interpreter of nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.


II

Neither the naked hand nor the understanding left to itself can effect much. It is by instruments and helps that the work is done, which are as much wanted for the understanding as for the hand. And as the instruments of the hand either give motion or guide it, so the instruments of the mind supply either suggestions for the understanding or cautions.


III

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.

____________________
*
From The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon, edited by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding, London, 1861, vol. iv.
The translation was originally made by an undergraduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, but Spedding is responsible for the form which it finally assumed.

-24-

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Modern Classical Philosophers: Selections Illustrating Modern Philosophy from Bruno to Bergson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) 1
  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626) 24
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) 57
  • RenÉ Descartes (1596-1650) 101
  • Baruch De Spinoza (1632-1677) 148
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibnitz (1646-1716) 199
  • John Locke (1632-1704) 215
  • George Berkeley (1685-1753) 263
  • David Hume (1711-1766) 307
  • Etienne Bonnot De Condillac (1715-1780) 347
  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) 376
  • Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) 486
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Von Schelling. (1775-1854) 535
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) 569
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) 629
  • Auguste Comte (1798-1857) 672
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) 690
  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) 703
  • Index 733
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