Wrestling with the Social Constructor

In his Novum Organum, Francis Bacon presented a method of scientific inquiry that he hoped would root out "the idols and false notions which are now in possession of the human understanding" (Aphorism XXXVIII). Bacon argued that these sources of systematic delusion would continue to cause trouble "unless men, being forewarned of the danger, fortify themselves as far as may be against their assaults" (Ibid.). As the founders of the Royal Society began to design an institutional base for Bacon's dream of a Great Instauration of the Sciences, they emphasized the importance of excluding discussions of politics, religion and what we today would call ideology from the conduct of the professional affairs of science.
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Francis Bacon & J. R. Milton (1996). Novum Organum. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):125-128.
Alan Soble (1995). In Defense of Bacon. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):192-215.
Francis Bacon (2007). The New Organon. In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub.
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