This volume brings together mostly previously unpublished studies by prominent historians, classicists, and philosophers on the roles and effects of religion in Socratic philosophy and on the trial of Socrates. Among the contributors are Thomas C. Brickhouse, Asli Gocer, Richard Kraut, Mark L. McPherran, Robert C. T. Parker, C. D. C. Reeve, Nicholas D. Smith, Gregory Vlastos, Stephen A. White, and Paul B. Woodruff.
Americans have an unwavering faith in democracy and are ever eager to import it to nations around the world. But how democratic is our own "democracy"? If you can vote, if the majority rules, if you have elected representatives--does this automatically mean that you have a democracy? In this eye-opening look at an ideal that we all take for granted, classical scholar Paul Woodruff offers some surprising answers to these questions. Drawing on classical literature, philosophy, and history--with many intriguing (...) passages from Sophocles, Aesop, and Plato, among others--Woodruff immerses us in the world of ancient Athens to uncover how the democratic impulse first came to life. The heart of the book isolates seven conditions that are the sine qua non of democracy: freedom from tyranny (including the tyranny of majority rule), harmony (the blending of different views), the rule of law, natural equality, citizen wisdom, reasoning without knowledge, and general education. He concludes that a true democracy must be willing to invite everyone to join in government. It must respect the rule of law so strongly that even the government is not above the law. True democracy must be mature enough to accept changes that come from the people. And it must be willing to pay the price of education for thoughtful citizenship. Ancient Athens didn't always live up to these ideals. Nor does modern America. If we learn anything from the story of Athens, Woodruff concludes, it should be this--never lose sight of the ideals of democracy. This compact, eloquent book illuminates these ideals and lights the way as we struggle to keep democracy alive at home and around the world. (shrink)
H. Wittman, A. Desmarais, and N. Wiebe (eds.): Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community Content Type Journal Article Category Review Paper Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-012-9375-1 Authors Charles Francis, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, UNL, 279 Plant Science, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
What is unique and essential about theatre? What separates it from other arts? Do we need 'theatre' in some fundamental way? The art of theatre, as Paul Woodruff says in this elegant and unique book, is as necessary-and as powerful-as language itself. Defining theatre broadly, including sporting events and social rituals, he treats traditional theatre as only one possibility in an art that-at its most powerful-can change lives and (as some peoples believe) bring a divine presence to earth. The (...) Necessity of Theater analyzes the unique power of theatre by separating it into the twin arts of watching and being watched, practiced together in harmony by watchers and the watched. Whereas performers practice the art of being watched-making their actions worth watching, and paying attention to action, choice, plot, character, mimesis, and the sacredness of performance space-audiences practice the art of watching: paying close attention. A good audience is emotionally engaged as spectators; their engagement takes a form of empathy that can lead to a special kind of human wisdom. As Plato implied, theatre cannot teach us transcendent truths, but it can teach us about ourselves. Characteristically thoughtful, probing, and original, Paul Woodruff makes the case for theatre as a unique form of expression connected to our most human insticts. The Necessity of Theater should appeal to anyone seriously interested or involved in theatre or performance more broadly. (shrink)
We live in a world where CEOs give themselves million pound bonuses even as their companies go bankrupt and ordinary workers are laid off; where athletes make millions while teachers struggle to survive; a world, in short, where rewards are often unfairly meted out. -/- In The Ajax Dilemma, Paul Woodruff examines one of today's most pressing moral issues: how to distribute rewards and public recognition without damaging the social fabric. How should we honour those whose behaviour and achievement (...) is essential to our overall success? Is it fair or right to lavish rewards on the superstar at the expense of the hardworking rank-and-file? How do we distinguish an impartial fairness from what is truly just? Woodruff builds his answer to these questions around the ancient conflict between Ajax and Odysseus over the armour of the slain warrior Achilles. King Agamemnon arranges a speech contest to decide the issue. Ajax, the loyal workhorse, loses the contest, and the priceless armour, to Odysseus, the brilliantly deceptive strategist who will lead the Greeks to victory. Deeply insulted, Ajax goes on a rampage and commits suicide, and in his rage we see the resentment of every loyal worker who has been passed over in favour of those who are more gifted, or whose skills are more highly valued. How should we deal with the 'Ajax dilemma'? Woodruff argues that while we can never create a perfect system for distributing just rewards, we can recognize the essential role that wisdom, compassion, moderation, and respect must play if we are to restore the basic sense of justice on which all communities depend. -/- This short, thoughtful book, written with Woodruff's characteristic elegance, investigates some of the most bitterly divisive global issues today. (shrink)
Reverence is an ancient virtue dating back thousands of years. It survives among us in half-forgotten patterns of behavior and in the vestiges of old ceremonies. Yet, Paul Woodruff says, we have lost sight of reverence. This short, elegiac volume makes an impassioned case for the fundamental importance of the forgotten virtue of reverence, and how awe for things greater than oneself can--indeed must--be a touchstone for other virtues like respect, humility, and charity. Ranging widely over diverse cultural terrain--from (...) Philip Larkin to ancient Greek poetry, from modern politics to Chinese philosophy--Woodruff shows how absolutely essential reverence is to a well-functioning society. He tackles some thorny questions: How does reverence allow not only for leaders but for followers? What role does reverence play in religion? Do some religions misuse reverence? Must reverence be humorless? In the process, Woodruff shows convincingly how reverence plays an unseen part in virtually every human relationship. Elegantly written, thoughtful yet urgent, Reverence is sure to reach out to a wide variety of people interested in the moral health of Western culture, showing how our own intellectual and spiritual legacy can guide us more than we realize. (shrink)
Presenting a case for the possibility of interpreting the metaphysical passages of the "philebus" consistently with the view that plato substantially revised the theory of transcendent forms in his later dialogues. sections (1) to (5) make necessary initial philosophical distinctions and present a brief account of material in other dialogues. sections (6) to (10) discuss in detail the interpretation of relevant specific passages.
The program of intervening, manipulating, constructing and creating is central to natural and engineering sciences. A renewed wave of interest in this program has emerged within the recent practices and discourse of nano-technoscience. However, it is striking that, framed from the perspective of well-established epistemologies, the constructed technoscientific objects and engineered things remain invisible. Their ontological and epistemological status is unclear. The purpose of the present paper is to support present-day approaches to techno-objects ( ontology ) insofar as they make (...) these hidden objects epistemologically perceivable. To accomplish this goal, it is inspiring to look back to the origin of the project of modernity and to its founding father: Francis Bacon. The thesis is that everything we need today for an adequate (dialectic-materialist), ontologically well-informed epistemology of technoscience can be found in the works of Bacon—this position will be called epistemological real-constructivism. Rather than describing it as realist or constructivist, empiricist or rationalist, Bacon’s position can best be understood as real-constructivist since it challenges modern dichotomies, including the dichotomy between epistemology and ontology. Such real-constructive turn might serve to promote the acknowledgement that natural and engineering sciences, in particular recent technosciences, are creating and producing the world we live in. Reflection upon the contemporary relevance of Bacon is intended as a contribution to the expanding and critical discussion on nano-technoscience. (shrink)
Spike Lee’s film 25 th Hour begins with an act of violence that it does not show: instead, the viewer hears the sounds of a dog being beaten. The dog’s menacing growl is then transformed into the growling image of Montgomery ‘Monty’ Brogan’s car speeding through New York. Monty spots the dog, and stops. It is only then that the viewer witnesses the results of the film’s ‘foundational’ act of violence: the bloody body of a dog beaten to pulp. When (...) Monty approaches the dog, it turns out the animal ‘still has some bite left in him’. Perhaps because the dog is a fighter, Monty decides to save him. Although the dog resists, he ultimately manages to get the dog in the trunk of his car. But Monty does not emerge from the rescue operation unscathed: blood is trickling from a cut in his neck. This scene can be read as a pre-figuration of a stomach-turning scene towards the end of the film, in which Monty’s friend Francis ‘Frank’ Slaughtery will beat up Monty’s face beyond recognition so that Monty will not be raped on his first night in jail. Monty’s face recalls the dog at the beginning of the film. It is through the bloody mess of their bodies that Monty and the dog begin to communicate, to enter into communion. This essay explores how this communion, this communication between Monty and the dog, comes about. I am interested, specifically, in what the significance of such an exploration might be for contemporary conceptions of community. The essay initially approaches this topic against the background of Emmanuel Levinas’ work on ethics, in which the notion of the face has played a crucial role. But its aim is really to situate the film, through the references to the work of Francis Bacon that it includes, in a more contemporary, post-Levinasian debate on an ethics of defacement. I am particularly interested in exploring the significance of such an ethics in the post-September 11 era, which is explicitly evoked at the beginning of Lee’s film. My argument is that Monty and the dog begin to communicate, to enter into a communion, and thus to form a community, through a process of defacement that simultaneously strips them from their ways of life and propels them into a shared ethical and political becoming. (shrink)
"Notwithstanding Francis Bacon’s praise for the philosophical role of the mechanical arts, historians have often downplayed Bacon’s connections with actual artisans and entrepreneurs. Addressing the specific context of mining culture, this study proposes a rather different picture. The analysis of a famous mining metaphor in _The Advancement of Learning_ shows us how Bacon’s project of reform of knowledge could find an apt correspondence in civic and entrepreneurial values of his time. Also, Bacon had interesting and so far unexplored links (...) with the early modern English mining enterprises, like the Company of Mineral and Battery Works, of which he was a shareholder. Moreover, Bacon’s notes in a private notebook, _Commentarius Solutus_, and records of patents of invention, allow us to start grasping Bacon’s connections with the metallurgist and entrepreneur Thomas Russell. Lastly, this paper argues that, to fully understand Bacon’s links with the world of Stuart technicians and entrepreneurs, it is necessary to consider a different and insufficiently studied aspect of Bacon’s interests, namely his work as patents referee while a Commissioner of Suits.". (shrink)
Because Francis Galton (1822-1911) was a well-connected gentleman scientist with substantial private means, the importance of the role he played in the professionalization of the Victorian life-sciences has been considered anomalous. In contrast to the X-clubbers, he did not seem to have any personal need for the reforms his Darwinist colleagues were advocating. Nor for making common cause with individuals haling from social strata clearly inferior to his own. However, in this paper I argue that Galton quite realistically discerned (...) in the reforming endeavors of the 1860s, and beyond, the potential for considerably enhancing his own reputation and standing within both the scientific community and the broader Victorian culture. In addition, his professionalizing aspirations, and those of his reformist allies, were fully concordant with the interests, ambitions and perceived opportunities of his elite social group during the Victorian period. Professionalization appealed to gentlemen of Galton's status and financial security as much as it did to the likes of Thomas Huxley and John Tyndall, primarily because it promised to confer on the whole scientific enterprise an unprecedented level of social prestige. (shrink)
This article deals with the theatrical work of Francisco García Escalante, known as Francis, from the point of view of Gender and Queer Theory. Since the theater work of Francis belongs to popular culture, this article analyzes elements of Mexican Review Theater (similar to Musical Theater) in reference to the dynamics she used to present diverse masculinities on stage. This essay also compares Francis’ symbolical construction of gender with that of popular singer Juan Gabriel.
La crítica que Francis Bacon dirigió a la concepción aristotélica del movimiento no tuvo como punto de partida las obras originales de Aristóteles sino la vasta literatura de texto que durante los siglos XVI y XVII ofrecía una interpretación novedosa y ecléctica del pensamiento aristotélico. En este trabajo analizo la crítica de Bacon concentrándome en los textos aristotélicos más corrientes de su medio intelectual (Magirus, Keckermann, Conimbricenses, Toledo, Zabarella). El artículo está dividido en tres secciones: la crítica epistemológica, la (...) crítica del movimiento natural y el movimiento violento y la crítica del movimiento de ascenso y de descenso. En la conclusión señalo en qué medida la teoría baconiana del movimiento rechazó los conceptos aristotélicos y, al mismo tiempo, adoptó nociones aristotélicas claves al construir su propia clasificación de los movimientos. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the role of care and competence, as well as their relationship to one another, in contemporary medical practice. I distinguish between two types of care. The first type, care1, represents a natural concern that motivates physicians to help or to act on the behalf of patients, i.e. to care about them. However, this care cannot guarantee the correct technical or right ethical action of physicians to meet the bodily and existential needs of patients, i.e. to (...) take care of them—care2. To that end, physicians must be competent in the practice of medicine both as evidence—based science (technical competence) and as patient—centered art (ethical competence). Only then, I argue, can physicians take care of (care2) patients’ bodily and existential needs in a compassionate and comprehensive manner. Importantly, although care1 precedes competence, competence—both technical and ethical—is required for genuine care2, which in turn reinforces an authentic care1. I utilize the play Wit, especially the character Jason Posner, and Francis Peabody’s exposition on caring for patients, to illustrate the role of care and competence in contemporary medical practice. (shrink)
Afin de comprendre avec exactitude la manière dont Francis Bacon envisage la question de la prolongation de la vie humaine, il faut impérativement examiner l’assise théologique de la réflexion du philosophe à ce sujet. Il convient aussi de restituer l’intégration de cette réflexion dans les objectifs plus amples de la philosophie naturelle nouvelle. Enfin, il est nécessaire de comprendre les dimensions proprement morales de la question. Car la prolongation de la vie humaine n’est pas seulement, au sein de la (...) philosophie naturelle nouvelle, un cas parmi d’autres des recherches qu’il faut désormais effectuer : en réalité, c’est elle qui lui donne et qui lui fixe son sens ; avec elle se joue l’effectivité de l’identité espérée entre science et puissance. Mais il faut encore préciser qu’il ne s’agit aucunement pour l’homme de vieillir pour vieillir : il s’agit pour lui de pouvoir vieillir bien. Les leçons que Bacon tire de la fable de Tithon sont ici véritablement décisives. (shrink)
This authoritative edition was originally published in the acclaimed Oxford Authors series under the general editorship of Frank Kermode. It brings together an extensive collection of Bacon's writing - the major prose in full, together with sixteen other pieces not otherwise available - to give the essence of his work and thinking. -/- Although he had a distinguished career as a lawyer and statesman, Francis Bacon's lifelong goal was to improve and extend human knowledge. In The Advancement of Learning (...) (1605) he made a brilliant critique of the deficiencies of previous systems of thought and proposed improvements to knowledge in every area of human life. He conceived the Essays (1597, much enlarged in 1625) as a study of the formative influences on human behaviour, psychological and social. In The New Atlantis (1626) he outlined his plan for a scientific research institute in the form of a Utopian fable. In addition to these major English works this edition includes 'Of Tribute', an important early work here printed complete for the first time, and a revealing selection of his legal and political writings, together with his poetry. -/- A special feature of the edition is its extensive annotation which identifies Bacon's sources and allusions, and glosses his vocabulary. (shrink)
This volume belongs to the first new critical edition of the works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) to have been produced since the nineteenth century. The edition presents the works in broadly chronological order and according to the best principles of modern textual scholarship. The seven works in the present volume belong to the final completed stages (Parts III-V) of Bacon's hugely ambitious six-part sequence of philosophical works, collectively entitled Instauratio magna (1620-6). All are presented in the original Latin with (...) new facing-page translations. Three of the seven texts (substantial works in two cases, and all sharing a startlingly improbable textual history) are published and translated here for the first time: these are an early version of the Historia densi, the 'lost' Abecedarium, and the Historia de animato & inanimato. Another - the Prodromi sive anticipationes philosophiae secundae - has likewise never been translated before. Together with their commentaries and the introduction they open the way to important new understandings of Bacon's mature philosophical thought. (shrink)
This is the first critical edition since the nineteenth century of Bacon's principal philosophical work in English, The Twoo Bookes of Francis Bacon. Of the proficience and advancement of Learning, divine and humane - traditionally known as The Advancement of Learning.
This volume inaugurates a new critical edition of the writings of the great English philosopher and sage Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - the first such complete edition for more than a hundred years. It contains six of Bacon's Latin scientific works, each accompanied by entirely new facing-page translations which, together with the extensive introduction and commentaries, offer fresh insights into one of the great minds of the early seventeenth century.
The major aim of this article consists in ascertaining the reasons which drove Bacon to compose what he called Instauratio Magna: a great institution of the future science in terms of an broad restoration of the past of science. It brings an exposition of his project (of what he meant to do) in contradistinction to what he effectively accomplished. Cconsidering that Kant dedicated to Bacon his Critique of Pure Reason, it is also an imperative concern of this article to search (...) for the reasons of this dedication. (shrink)
In Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007) Francis Beckwith argues that fetuses are such that, from conception, they are prima facie wrong to kill. He thinks abortion is almost never permissible beyond rare cases where, unless the fetus is killed, both the pregnant woman and the fetus will die. He defends his view not from religiously-justified premises but by appealing to “a particular metaphysics of the human person” that he calls “The (...) Substance View.” I will argue that such metaphysics is irrelevant to the morality of abortion. Beckwith’s metaphysics thereby neither supports, nor detracts from, his abortion ethic. Moral, not metaphysical, assumptions drive the argument, and Beckwith inadequately defends these assumptions. Indeed, they are often false, and his main argument is unsound. (130 words). (shrink)
Elsewhere I have argued that the most significant threat to scientific realism arises from what I call the problem of unconceived alternatives: the repeated failure of past scientists and scientific communities to even conceive of alternatives to extant scientific theories, even when such alternatives were both (1) well-confirmed by the evidence available at the time and (2) sufficiently scientifically serious as to be actually embraced in the course of further investigation. In this paper I explore Francis Galton’s development and (...) defense of his “stirp” theory of inheritance and conclude that this particular historical example offers impressive support for the challenge posed by the problem of unconceived alternatives while simultaneously showing how we can make that challenge deeper and sharper. (shrink)
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense (1728), jointly with Francis Hutcheson’s earlier work Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), presents one of the most original and wide-ranging moral philosophies of the eighteenth century. These two works, each comprising two semi-autonomous treatises, were widely translated and vastly influential throughout the eighteenth century in England, continental Europe, and America. -/- The two works had (...) their greatest impact in Scotland and influenced many well-known Scottish philosophers, particularly those writing after the last Jacobite upheaval, in 1745. This can be seen in the concern of the post-1745 generation with analyzing human nature as the foundation of moral theory, with the “moral sense” and moral epistemology more generally, with the impartial spectator and the calm passions, and with the independence of benevolence from self-interest. In addition to the influence of his writings, Hutcheson was also a famed teacher whose Glasgow students, notably Adam Smith, held sway over generations of Scottish moral philosophers. -/- Despite their impact on Scottish letters, the four treatises were in fact written in Dublin, and the philosophers to whom Hutcheson responded and with whom he debated were in the main not Scottish but English, Irish, French, Roman, and Greek. Consequently, part of Hutcheson’s legacy was a cosmopolitan outlook among enlightened Scots, who learned to turn their eyes far from home. (shrink)
In Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (2007) and an earlier article in this journal, "Defending Abortion Philosophically"(2006), Francis Beckwith argues that fetuses are, from conception, prima facie wrong to kill. His arguments are based on what he calls a "metaphysics of the human person" known as "The Substance View." I argue that Beckwith’s metaphysics does not support his abortion ethic: Moral, not metaphysical, claims that are part of this Substance View are the foundation of (...) the argument, and Beckwith inadequately defends these moral claims. Thus, Beckwith’s arguments do not provide strong support for what he calls the "pro-life" view of abortion. (shrink)
Francis Bacon (15611626) wrote that good scientists are not like ants (mindlessly gathering data) or spiders (spinning empty theories). Instead, they are like bees, transforming nature into a nourishing product. This essay examines Bacon's "middle way" by elucidating the means he proposes to turn experience and insight into understanding. The human intellect relies on "machines" to extend perceptual limits, check impulsive imaginations, and reveal nature's latent causal structure, or "forms." This constructivist interpretation is not intended to supplant inductivist or (...) experimentalist interpretations, but is designed to explicate Bacon's account of science as a collaborative project with several interdependent methodological goals. (shrink)
Like all theories that account for moral motivation, Francis Hutcheson's moral sense theory faces two related challenges. The skeptical challenge calls into question what reasons an agent has to be moral at all. The priority challenge asks why an agent's reasons to be moral tend to outweigh her non-moral reasons to act. I argue a defender of Hutcheson can respond to these challenges by building on unique features of his account. She can respond to skeptical challenge by drawing a (...) direct parallel between an agent's reasons to pursue natural, self-directed goods and her reasons to pursue moral goods. This parallel, however, makes establishing the significance of morality difficult. Given this difficulty, a separate aspect of Hutcheson's account, the additional weight given to benevolence in our assessment of mixed actions, can be used to respond to the priority challenge. (shrink)
This is the first modern book to describe Francis Bacon's jurisprudence. He has long been famous as a scientist, philosopher, politician and literary giant, but his career as one of England's greatest lawyers and jurists has been largely overlooked. Bacon's major contribution to Anglo-American jurisprudence is presented in such a way as to be suitable to specialists and non-specialists alike. The purpose is to restore Bacon to his rightful place as England's first true critical and analytical jurist, and to (...) describe how his legal thought related to his other great intellectual achievements. (shrink)
Breaking with a Puritan past -- A mother's concern -- Turmoil and diversity in the English Reformation -- The influences and the options available in English -- Reformation theology -- Intellectual trends : patristics and hebrew -- Millennialism and the belief in a providential age -- Bacon's break with the godly -- Bacon's turn toward the ancient faith -- The formative years -- Bacon and Andrewes -- The Meditationes sacrae and Bacon's turn away from calvinism -- Bacon's confession of faith (...) -- In the beginning : the creation of nature and the nature of the fall the instauration as an event in sacred history -- The ages of the world and the chain of causes -- Creation as a pattern for human learning -- Humanity in the garden -- Knowledge and the fall -- Knowledge as a support for the faith -- Human effort as the key to recovery -- On the way of salvation : Bacon's twofold via salutis -- Bbacon and original sin -- Patterns in divine action and prophecies of instauration -- The instauration in the history of providence -- Bacon's providential age -- The conditions for instauration -- In the autumn of the world : features of the age of instauration -- Irenaeus and Francis Bacon on the golden age -- Inaugurated eschatology in Bacon's instauration -- Laborers in the fields of instauration : orders and offices -- Rebuilding the temple of nature -- Human agency and the instauration -- The problem of confusing the two books -- The possibility of immortality -- Bacon's circle and his legacy -- Bacon's literary circle -- Tobie Matthew (1577-1655) -- William Rawley (1588-1667) -- Henry Wotton (15681639) -- Thomas Bushell (1594-1674) -- John Selden (1584-1654) -- George Herbert (1593-1633) -- Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) -- Thomas Bodley (1545-1613) -- Conclusions regarding Bacon's literary circle -- The reform of learning in the Civil War and the commonwealth the restoration and the Royal Society -- The Enlightenment transformation of Bacon's memory. (shrink)
This paper argues that the founding fathers of the tradition of Scottish Enlightenment natural jurisprudence, Gersholm Carmichael (1672–1729) and Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746), articulated a view of rights that is pertinent to the contemporary dominance of the language of rights. Maintaining a metaphysical foundation for rights while drawing upon the early-modern Protestant natural law tradition, their conception of rights is more significantly indebted to the pre-modern scholastic natural law tradition than often realized. This is illustrated by exploring some of the (...) background to their respective theories of rights, detailing the precise reasoning that Carmichael and Hutcheson brought to bear upon their conception of rights, and then exploring their application of their understanding of rights to the question of property. (shrink)
Francis Beckwith’s Defending life: a moral and legal case against abortion choice defends the pro-life position on moral, legal and political grounds. In this critical notice I consider three key issues and argue that Beckwith’s treatment of each of them is unpersuasive. The issues are: (1) whether abortion is politically justified by the principle that we should err on the side of liberty in the face of reasonable disagreement over the moral status of the fetus; (2) whether the fetus’s (...) natural capacity or genetic propensity to develop rationality and communication is sufficient to give it a moral right to life; and (3) whether abortion is morally justified on the basis of bodily rights. I also show that Beckwith’s book fails to consider several important issues and arguments. (shrink)
Francis of Marchia dealt at length in several different contexts with the nature of the will and willing. Here I examine just one of those discussions: the possibility for the will to go against reason's final judgment, a topic related to weakness of will and the source of sin. Marchia is clearly of a voluntaristic bent, holding that the will can indeed act against the determination of reason. After examining Marchia's argumentation for his position, I explore some of the (...) background to Marchia's view in a distinctively later medieval understanding of the human mind as a system of internal acts and dispositions, with the possibility that several of them belong to the same faculty simultaneously. This increasingly complex conceptualisation of the mind mirrors a new, more complex conceptualization of the "Self". (shrink)
: Despite the historical importance of Francis Bacon's grand vision of science, the doctrine of Form that supports his program of works is now generally agreed to be incoherent. This paper will argue, however, that Bacon's belief in the convertibility of matter gains a previously unacknowledged coherence when approached through the treatment of axiom conversion expressed in Ramus' 1574 Dialectica. Ultimately this will lead to the conclusion that Bacon did not--like most twentieth-century philosophers--see the universe as a collection of (...) matter understood by humans in terms of law, but as a collection of laws understood in terms of matter. (shrink)
This ambitious and important book provides the first truly general account of Francis Bacon as a philosopher. It describes how Bacon transformed the values that had underpinned philosophical culture since antiquity by rejecting the traditional idea of a philosopher as someone engaged in contemplation of the cosmos. The book explores in detail how and why Bacon attempted to transform the largely esoteric discipline of natural philosophy into a public practice through a program in which practical science provided a model (...) that inspired many from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Stephen Gaukroger shows that this reform of natural philosophy was dependent on the creation of a new philosophical persona: a natural philosopher shaped through submission to the dictates of Baconian method. This book will be recognized as a major contribution to Baconian scholarship, of special interest to historians of early-modern philosophy, science, and ideas. (shrink)