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The Works of Francis Bacon (v. 5)

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Pages: 412

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: THE NATURAL AND EXPERIMENTAL HISTORY FOR THE FOUNDATION OF PHILOSOPHY: on . PHENOMENA OF THE UNIVERSE: WHICH IS THE THIRD PAKT OF THE INSTAURATIO MAGNA. Men are to be admonished, nay urged and entreated as they value their fortunes, to be lowly of mind and search for knowledge in the greater world, and to throw aside all thought of philosophy, or at least to expect but little and poor fruit from it, until aYs approved and careful Natural and Experimental History be prepared and constructed. For to what purpose are these brain-creations and idle displays of power ? In ancient times there were philosophical doctrines in plenty: doctrines of Pythagoras, Philolaus, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, and others. All these invented systems of the universe, each according to his own fancy, like so many arguments of plays: and those their inventions they recited and published: whereof some were more elegant and probable, others harsh and unlikely. Nor in our age, though by reason of the institutions of schools and colleges wits are more restrained, has the practice entirely ceased: for Patriciua, Telesius, Brunus, Severinus the Dane, Gilbert the Englishman, and Campanella have come upon the stage with fresh stories, neither honoured by approbation nor elegant in argument. Are we then to wonder at this, as if there would not be innumerable sects and opinions of this kind in all ages ? There is not and never will be an end or limit to this: one catches at one thing, another at another: each has his favourite fancy : pure and open light there is none: every one philosophises out of the cells of his own imagination, as out of Plato's cave : the higher wits with more acuteness and felicity, the duller, less h...  

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