Francis Bacon and Ingenuity*

  title={Francis Bacon and Ingenuity*},
  author={Rhodri Lewis},
  journal={Renaissance Quarterly},
  pages={113 - 163}
Abstract This essay discusses the Latin term ingenium within the writings of Francis Bacon (1561–1626). It proposes that although ingenium does not easily translate into English, Bacon uses the term in a clearly defined range of senses. For the most part, he echoes the discourse of ingenuity and inventiveness common to many sixteenth-century humanists, but differs from them in sharply delimiting the scope and status of ingenious thinking. In particular, he excludes ingenuity from the logical… 

Francis Bacon on the Motions of the Mind

This chapter is an inquiry into the place of the mind and its motions in Francis Bacon’s ontology and in his map of the disciplines. A strong tendency in Baconian scholarship is to suggest that Bacon

Bacon’s Hints: The Sylva Sylvarum’s Intimate Science

Abstract: Through an analysis of Bacon’s last natural history, this essay sketches a less familiar Baconianism, one that deemphasizes inductive method; that does not lead inevitably toward ideals of

Francis Bacon's doctrine of idols: a diagnosis of ‘universal madness’

  • S. Weeks
  • Philosophy
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 2019
It is argued that Bacon's theory of idols underlies his diagnosis of the contemporary condition as one of ‘universal madness’, and it is suggested that his diagnosis influenced John Locke.

The Prehistory of Serendipity, from Bacon to Walpole

Recovering the prehistory of the term suggests that “serendipity,” rather than being a name for a special mode of discovery invented by Walpole, has all along accompanied empiricism as the name for an essential gap in its epistemology.

Curiosity and the Occult: The Ambiguities of Science in Eighteenth-Century British Literature

The term ‘science’ means the ‘possession of knowledge,’ and in many ways it stands opposed both to curiosity, the search for knowledge, and to the occult, the unknown.1 When Britain’s first

Toward Understanding 17th Century English Culture: A Structural Topic Model of Francis Bacon's Ideas

We use machine-learning methods to study the features and origins of the ideas of Francis Bacon, a key figure who provided the intellectual roots of a cultural paradigm that spurred modern economic

Confessional disputes in the republic of letters: Susan Du Verger and Margaret Cavendish

ABSTRACT The starting point of this article is an understudied piece of critical exegesis from 1657 titled Humble Reflections Upon Some Passages of the Right Honorable the Lady Marchionesse of

A culture of habit : habitual dispositions in late early modern English intellectual thought

This thesis examines the concept of ‘habit’ and notions of ‘habitual dispositions’ in late early modern English thought. It’s primary aim is to highlight the ways in which the process of acquiring

Politics as a model of pedagogy in Spinoza

ABSTRACT In this paper, I argue that Spinoza’s political theory gives us a model for how he might have approached a treatise on moral education. Indeed, his account of the method and aims of politics

The Imagination’s Arts: Poetry and Natural Philosophy in Bacon and Shakespeare

This article argues that natural philosophy and poetry were complementary arts in the early seventeenth century. Together these arts harnessed the imagination to discover the natural order and to



Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse

By modern standards Bacon's writings are striking in their range and diversity, and they are too often considered a separate specialist concerns in isolation from each other. Dr Jardine finds a


One trademark of the early-modern period is the tendency to base logic on theory of mind, but so far, this topic has not received close attention. The aim of this paper is to bring some attention to

'Ingenium' and Rhetoric in the Work of Vives

There is a fundamental problem in philosophy and the Humanistic tradition that has not been dealt with sufficiently. The philosophical significance of ingenium is no more acknowledged today than in

A Kind of Sagacity: Francis Bacon, the Ars Memoriae and the Pursuit of Natural Knowledge

Within the emergent field of memory studies, many scholars have turned their attention to the reception of the ars memoriae, and have viewed a diverse range of intellectual and cultural practices

The Passions and Animal Language, 1540-1700

Language was a subject of absorbing interest to numerous early modem philosophers who investigated its origin, its production, its signification, and its use; behind almost all of these investigations lay one of the most profound suppositions in early modem anthropology: the uniqueness of the human.

Historia and materia: the philosophical implications of Francis Bacon's natural history.

There are cases in which Bacon seems to stick to a diachronic view of the meaning of fables and histories, such that the transition from myths to history, especially natural history, is described as a collective effort towards reality and enlightenment.

Idols of the Imagination: Francis Bacon on the Imagination and the Medicine of the Mind

We propose to read Francis Bacon's doctrine of the idols of the mind as an investigation firmly entrenched in his mental-medicinal concerns and we argue that an important role therein is played by

John Evelyn: Living for Ingenuity

This new biography of John Evelyn, diarist, scholar, and intellectual virtuoso (1620-1706), is the first account to make full use of his huge unpublished archive, deposited at the British Library in

Dramatic form in Shakespeare and the Jacobeans

John Kerrigan, On Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature: Essays, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. ix + 266, hb. £40, ISBN: 0199248516Collections of academic writings that call themselves

Psychology: The intellective soul

Aristotle's teaching on the intellective soul ( De anima III.4–5) serves as the starting-point for Renaissance discussions and, therefore, predetermines the questions raised and the answers given. In