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Francis Bacon

Date de naissance: 22. janvier 1561
Date de décès: 9. avril 1626
Autres noms:Sir Francis Bacon

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Francis Bacon, né le 22 janvier 1561 à Londres et mort à Highgate près de la même ville en 1626, baron de Verulam, vicomte de St Albans, Chancelier d’Angleterre, est un scientifique et philosophe anglais. Francis Bacon développe dans son œuvre le De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum une théorie empiriste de la connaissance, et il précise les règles de la méthode expérimentale dans le Novum Organum, ce qui fait de lui l’un des pionniers de la pensée scientifique moderne.

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Citations Francis Bacon

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„The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul“

—  Francis Bacon
Context: The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical: because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged, therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: so as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things. Book II, iv, 2

„A wise man will make more opportunities, than he finds.“

—  Francis Bacon, The Essays
Of Ceremonies and Respect

„Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested“

—  Francis Bacon
Context: Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Of Studies

„If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.“

—  Francis Bacon, The Advancement Of Learning
Context: The two ways of contemplation are not unlike the two ways of action commonly spoken of by the ancients: the one plain and smooth in the beginning, and in the end impassable; the other rough and troublesome in the entrance, but after a while fair and even. So it is in contemplation: If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties. Book I, v, 8

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„Further, it will not be amiss to distinguish the three kinds and, as it were, grades of ambition in mankind.“

—  Francis Bacon
Context: Further, it will not be amiss to distinguish the three kinds and, as it were, grades of ambition in mankind. The first is of those who desire to extend their own power in their native country, a vulgar and degenerate kind. The second is of those who labor to extend the power and dominion of their country among men. This certainly has more dignity, though not less covetousness. But if a man endeavor to establish and extend the power and dominion of the human race itself over the universe, his ambition (if ambition it can be called) is without doubt both a more wholesome and a more noble thing than the other two. Now the empire of man over things depends wholly on the arts and sciences. For we cannot command nature except by obeying her. Aphorism 129

„Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury.“

—  Francis Bacon
Context: Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. For as they have been successful in inducing belief, so they have been effective in quenching and stopping inquiry; and have done more harm by spoiling and putting an end to other men's efforts than good by their own. Those on the other hand who have taken a contrary course, and asserted that absolutely nothing can be known — whether it were from hatred of the ancient sophists, or from uncertainty and fluctuation of mind, or even from a kind of fullness of learning, that they fell upon this opinion — have certainly advanced reasons for it that are not to be despised; but yet they have neither started from true principles nor rested in the just conclusion, zeal and affectation having carried them much too far.... Now my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception.

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