Ideas of Francis Bacon, by Theme

[English, 1561 - 1626, Born in London. Chancellor of England, but found guilty of corruption. Died in London after experimenting with refrigeration.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 6. Despair over Philosophy
Philosophy is like a statue which is worshipped but never advances
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the best knowledge, because it is the simplest
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysics as Science
Natural history supports physical knowledge, which supports metaphysical knowledge
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics beyond Science
Physics studies transitory matter; metaphysics what is abstracted and necessary
Physics is of material and efficient causes, metaphysics of formal and final causes
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / d. Forms critiques
Plato mistakenly thought forms were totally abstracted away from matter
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / a. Nominalism
Only individual bodies exist
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal
In hylomorphism all the explanation of actions is in the form, and the matter doesn't do anything
There are only individual bodies containing law-based powers, and the Forms are these laws
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
The senses deceive, but also show their own errors
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Empiricists are collecting ants; rationalists are spinning spiders; and bees do both
We don't assume there is no land, because we can only see sea
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 3. Experiment
Science moves up and down between inventions of causes, and experiments
Nature is revealed when we put it under pressure rather than observe it
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 5. Commensurability
Many different theories will fit the observed facts
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
People love (unfortunately) extreme generality, rather than particular knowledge
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
Teleological accounts are fine in metaphysics, but they stop us from searching for the causes
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism
Essences are part of first philosophy, but as part of nature, not part of logic
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / a. Greek matter
Stripped and passive matter is just a human invention
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. Divine Morality / b. Euthyphro question
Even without religion, there are many guides to morality