Roger Bacon has often been victimized by his friends, who have exaggerated and distorted his place in the history of mathematics. He has too often been viewed as the first, or one of the first, to grasp the possibilities and promote the cause of modern mathematical physics. Even those who have noticed that Bacon was more given to the praise than to the practice of mathematics have seen in his programmatic statements an anticipation of seventeenth-century achievements. But if we judge Bacon by twentieth-century criteria and pronounce him an anticipator of modern science, we will fail totally to understand his true contributions; for Bacon was not looking to the future, but responding to the past; he was grappling with ancient traditions and attempting to apply the truth thus gained to the needs of thirteenth-century Christendom. If we wish to understand Bacon, therefore, we must take a backward, rather than a forward, look; we must view him in relation to his predecessors and contemporaries rather than his successors; we must consider not his influence, but his sources and the use to which he put them
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0007087400018914
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,374
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Plato's Cosmology.R. S. & Francis Macdonald Cornford - 1937 - Journal of Philosophy 34 (26):717.
Albertus Magnus and the Oxford Platonists.J. Athanasius Weisheipl - 1958 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 32:124-139.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

William of Ockham, the Subalternate Sciences, and Aristotle's Theory of Metabasis.Steven J. Livesey - 1985 - British Journal for the History of Science 18 (2):127-145.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mathematics and Francis Bacon's Natural Philosophy in Bacon.Graham Rees - 1986 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 40 (159):399-426.
Roger Bacon on the Nullity of Magic.Roger Bacon - 1923 - American Mathematical Society.


Added to PP index

Total views
8 ( #952,577 of 2,420,327 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #542,912 of 2,420,327 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes