Francis Bacon.

The works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 52)
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and divide themselves ; which science, whether I
should report as deficient or no, I stand doubtful.

For I find a certain rhapsody of natural theology,
and of divers parts of logic ; and of that other part
of natural philosophy, which concerneth the princii)les;
and of that other part of natural philosophy, which
concerneth the soul or spirit ; all these strangely
commixed and confused : but being examined, it
seemeth to me rather a depredation of other sciences,
advanced and exalted unto some height of terms,
than any thing solid or substantive of itself.

Nevertheless I cannot be ignorant of the distinc-
tion which is current, that the same things are han-
dled but in several respects. As for exam.ple, that
logic considereth of many things as they are in
notion; and tliis ]»liil(i.sop]i)% as tliey are in nature ;
the one in appearance, the other in existence : but I find



Book 11.] ADVANCEINIKNT OF hEARNINCJ. 98

this clifFerence better made than pursued. For if tliey
had considered quantity, similitude, diversity, and the
rest of those external characters of things, as philoso-
phers, and in nature ; tlieir inquiries must of force
have been of a far other kind than they arc.

For doth any of them, in handling quantity, speak
of the force of union, how, and how far it multi})lieth
virtue ? l^oth any give the reason, why some things
in nature are so common and in so great mass, and
others so rare, and in so small quantity ? Doth any,
in handling similitude and diversity, assign the cause
why iron should not move to iron, wliich is more like,
but move to the loadstone, which is less like ? Why, in
all diversities of things, there should be certain parti-
ciples in nature, which are almost ambiguous, to which
kind they sliould be referred ? But there is a mere
and deep silence touching the nature and operation
of those common adjuncts of things, as in nature ;
and only a resuming and repeating of the force and
use of them, in speech or argument.

Therefore because in a writing of this nature I avoid
all subtilty, my meaning touching this origin al_or_uni-
versal ph ilosophy is thus, in a plain and gross descrip-"
tion by negative ; " That it be a receptacle for all '"^'■



Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 52)