The Works of Francis Bacon

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 156 páginas
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: PREFACE TOPICA INQUISITIONIS DE LUCE ET LUMINE. The following paper of directions for an experimental inquiry concerning Light was first published by Gruter in 1653, among the pieces which he entitles Impetus Philosophici; afterwards (from another copy) by Dr. Rawley in 1658; and since a work with the same title is mentioned in Rawley's list of Bacon's later writings, where it stands last but one,1 I presume that this is it, and that it was meant to be preserved. If so, this is its proper place. In my preface to the Parasceve, I have noticed Bacon's intention to draw up, with reference to the Natural and Experimental History which was to be the basis of the new philosophy, certain heads of inquiry showing what points in each subject were more particularly to be observed; and I have pointed out the importance of this part of his scheme, as bearing upon the question whether it were possible or not to procure a collection of the facts of nature in the manner he proposed. One example of the thing we have 1 See Vol. L p. 46. Mr. Ellis however infers from the allusion (infra, p. 135.) to ipecula prrspectica, that this tract must bave been written before 1612. See his note. ?J. S. already seen, in the Topica Particularis sive Artieuli Inquisitionis de Gravi et Leri, given in the fifth book of the De Augmentis. This is another; and though it does not profess to contain more than a few instance by way of example, it serves to show how he proposed to set about the work. If the enclosure transmitted in his letter to Father Baranzan, which related to a history of Comets (de qua confidenda ecce tibi articuJos quosdam et quasi topica particularia), had been preserved, it would have supplied us with a third. It may be thought strange perhaps that he did no more during the last...

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Francis Bacon was born on January 22, 1561 in London. After studying at Cambridge, Bacon began a legal career, ultimately becoming a barrister in 1582. Bacon continued his political ascent, and became a Member of Parliament in 1584. In 1600, he served as Queen Elizabeth's Learned Counsel in the trial of Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex. After numerous appointments under James I, Bacon admitted to bribery and fell from power. Much of Bacon's fame stems from the belief by some that he was the actual author of the plays of William Shakespeare. While many critics dismissed that belief, Bacon did write several important works, including a digest of laws, a history of Great Britain, and biographies of the Tudor monarchy, including Henry VII. Bacon was also interested in science and the natural world. His scientific theories are recorded in Novum Organum, published in 1620. Bacon's interest in science ultimately led to his death. After stuffing a fowl with snow to study the effect of cold on the decay of meat, he fell ill, and died of bronchitis on April 9, 1626.

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