Sir Francis Bacon and "The Advancement of Learning"
I've been reading a book titled "The Advancement of Learning" written by Sir Francis Bacon in 1605. It's facinating and I have found myself meditating on some of his written thoughts and pulling them apart in my mind. I thought I would write down the quotes that stuck out in my mind the most for looking at in the future for myself and to share with others.
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, was born in January 1561. He was an English philosopher, scientist, and author. Even though he passed away on April 9, 1626,his works remained influential in the development of the scientific method that is still used today. He is also the man that many people speculate wrote some or all of the works of William Shakespeare. All of these quotes are from the book titles above.
For the mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect, according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture if it be not delivered and reduced.
It is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is commonly the foulest; and surely in the fairer way is not much about?
Who taught the raven in a drought to throw pebbles into a hollow tree, where she espied water, that the water might rise so as she could come to it?
Men’s weaknesses and faults are best known from their enemies, their virtues and abilities from their familiar friends.
There is yet another fault noted in learned men, that they do many times fail to observe decency and discretion in their behavior and carriage.
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end with doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
… to have the true testimonies of learning to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit objections, I think good to deliver it from the discredits and disgraces it hath received, all from ignorance; but ignorance severally disguised; appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of divines; sometimes in the severity and arrogance of politiques; and sometimes in the errors and imperfections of learned men themselves.
… as the fable goeth of the basilisk, that if he see you first, you die for it, but if you see him first, he dieth…
There is no greater impediment of action than an over- curious observance of decency.
Picture from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon#Philosophy_and_works