Manuscrito 30 (1):135-184 (2007)

Authors
Alberto Oliva
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Abstract
Francis Bacon foi considerado por alguns pensadores o pai do método experimental. Outros filósofos o acusaram de advogar um empi-rismo naif. Em nosso artigo pretendemos identificar as peculiaridades do tipo de empirismo abraçado por Bacon. Os mais duros críticos de Bacon têm destacado sua retórica fatualista e têm dispensado pouca atenção à complexidade de um sistema metodológico que atribui papel crucial à evidência negativa. Negligenciam principalmente o real significado epis-temológico de sua proposta de uma indução eliminatória. Associando Bacon rigidamente a uma espécie de empirismo justificacionista deixam de detectar importantes ingredientes falibilistas em sua obra. Por aspirar a identificar o que pode haver de falibilismo na obra de Bacon este artigo questionará a avaliação que Popper faz de Bacon ao apresentá-lo como o grande representante do empirismo ingênuo e dogmático. Por mais que sejam procedentes algumas das críticas que Popper dirige a Bacon, mos-traremos que sua leitura repete velhos clichês sobre o autor do Novum Organum.Some philosophers regard Francis Bacon as the father of ex-perimental method. Others accuse Bacon of defending a naïf empiricist theory of knowledge. In this article I try to identify the peculiarities of the empiricism supported by Bacon. Bacon’s most severe critics emphasize his factualist rhetoric, paying no sufficient attention to the complexity of a methodological system that attributes a crucial role to negative evidence. They neglect the real epistemological meaning of Bacon’s proposal of an eliminative induction. As a rule, such critics are unable to detect the important fallibilist features present in Bacon’s work because they tend to, uncritically, identify him with a kind of em-piricist justificationism. The purpose of this article is to investigate the possible fallibilist elements in Bacon’s writings. By so doing, I shall challenge Popper’s evaluation of Bacon’s philosophy of science. I dis-agree with Popper when he describes Bacon as a dogmatic and naïf empiricist. Although some of the criticisms Popper addresses to Bacon are well-founded, I will argue that the general reconstruction of Ba-con’s inductivism carried out by Popper is not fully defensible
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