The Works of Francis Bacon (v. 1)
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Francis Bacon
Excerpt from book: GENERAL PREFACE BACON'S PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS. BY EGBERT LESLIE ELLIS. (1.) Our knowledge of Bacon's method is much less complete than it is commonly supposed to be. Of the Novum Organum, which was to contain a complete statement of its nature and principles, we have only the first two books : and although in other parts of Bacon's writings, as for instance in the Coffitata et Visa de Interpretatione Natures, many of the ideas contained in these books recur in a less systematic form, we yet meet with but few indications of the nature of the subjects which were to have been discussed in the others. It seems not improbable that some parts of Bacon's system were never perfectly developed even in his own mind. However this may be, it is certain that an attempt to determine what his method, taken as a whole, was or would have been, must necessarily involve a conjectural or hypothetical element : and it is, I think, chiefly because this circumstance has not been sufficiently recognised, that the idea of Bacon's philosophy has generally speaking been but imperfectly apprehended. (2.) Of the subjects which were to have occupied the remainder of the Novum Organum we learn something from a passage at the end of the second book. " Nunc vero," it is said at the conclusion of the doctrine of prerogative instances, " ad adminicula et rectificationes induc- tionis, et deinceps ad concreta, et latentes processus, et latentes gchematismos, et reliqua quae aphorismo xxi ordine proposui- mus, pergendum." On referring to the twenty-first aphorism we find a sort of table of contente of the whole work. " Dicemus itaque primo loco, de praerogativis instantiarum : secundo, de adminiculis inductionis : tertio, de rectificatione inductionis : quarto, de variatione inquisitionis pro natura subjec...