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Peter Urbach's commentary exactly underlines Bacon's openness:
Two kinds of axioms correspond to the following division ofphilosophy and the sciences: the investigation of forms ormetaphysics; and the investigation of efficient cause andmatter, which leads to the latent process and configuration inphysics. Physics itself is split up by Bacon intoMechanics, i.e., the practical, and Magic, i.e., themetaphysical.
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Bacon's interpretation of nature uses “Tablesand Arrangements of Instances” concerning the natural phenomenaunder investigation, which function as a necessary condition forcracking the code of efficient causation. His prerogativeinstances are not examples or phenomena simply taken from naturebut rather imply information with inductive potential which showpriority conducive to knowledge or to methodological relevance wheninserted into tables. The instances do not represent the order ofsensible things, but instead express the order of qualities (natures).These qualities provide the working basis for the order of abstractnatures. Bacon's tables have a double function: they areimportant for natural history, collecting the data on bodiesand virtues in nature; and they are also indispensable forinduction, which makes use of these data.
Analysis of Francis Bacon essays / Uncategorized
The ethical dimension of Bacon's thought has been underratedby generations of scholars. Time and again a crude utilitarianism hasbeen derived from Book I, Aphorism 1 of the Novum Organum;this cannot, however, withstand a closer analysis of his thought. SinceBacon's philosophy of science tries to answer the question of howman can overcome the deficiencies of earthly life resulting from theFall, he enters the realm of ethical reflection. The improvement ofmankind's lot by means of philosophy and science does not startfrom a narrow utilitarian point of view, involving sheer striving forprofit and supporting the power or influence of select groups of men,but instead emphasizes the construction of a better world for mankind,which might come into existence through the ascertaining of truthsabout nature's workings (Bacon III , 242). Thus, theperspective of the universal in Bacon's ethical thought is givenpredominance. The range of science and technology in their ethicalmeaning transcends the realm of the application of tools and/orinstruments, in so far as the aim is the transformation of wholesystems. Since causality and finality can interact on the basis ofhuman will and knowledge, a plurality of worlds becomes feasible(Bacon V , 506–7). Moral philosophy is closely connectedto ethical reflections on the relationship between the nature ofvirtues—habitual or innate?—and their use in life,privately and collectively. Any application of the principles of virtuepresupposes for Bacon the education of the mind, so that we learn whatis good and what should be attained (Gaukroger 2006, 204–5 andpassim):