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  • The Advancement of Learning
  • Written by Francis Bacon
    Series edited by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375758461
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  • The Advancement of Learning
  • Written by Francis Bacon
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307824042
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Written by Francis BaconAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Francis Bacon
Series edited by Stephen Jay GouldAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Stephen Jay Gould

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List Price: $11.99

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On Sale: August 01, 2012
Pages: 254 | ISBN: 978-0-307-82404-2
Published by : Modern Library Random House Group
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Francis Bacon, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher, remains one of the most effectual thinkers in European intellectual history. We can trace his influence from Kant in the 1700s to Darwin a century later. The Advancement of Learning, first published in 1605, contains an unprecedented and thorough systematization of the whole range of human knowledge. Bacon’s argument that the sciences should move away from divine philosophy and embrace empirical observation would forever change the way philosophers and natural scientists interpret their world.

Excerpt

To the King

1. There were under the law, excellent King, both daily sacrifices and freewill offerings; the one proceeding upon ordinary observance, the other upon a devout cheerfulness: in like manner there belongeth to kings from their servants both tribute of duty and presents of affection. In the former of these I hope I shall not live to be wanting, according to my most humble duty, and the good pleasure of your Majesty's employments: for the latter, I thought it more respective to make choice of some oblation, which might rather refer to the propriety and excellency of your individual person, than to the business of your crown and state.

2. Wherefore, representing your Majesty many times unto my mind, and beholding you not with the inquisitive eye of presumption, to discover that which the Scripture telleth me is inscrutable, but with the observant eye of duty and admiration; leaving aside the other parts of your virtue and fortune, I have been touched, yea, and possessed with an extreme wonder at those your virtues and faculties, which the Philosophers call intellectual; the largeness of your capacity, the faithfulness of your memory, the swiftness of your apprehension, the penetration of your judgement, and the facility and order of your elocution: and I have often thought, that of all the persons living that I have known, your Majesty were the best instance to make a man of Plato's opinion, that all knowledge is but remembrance, and that the mind of man by nature knoweth all things, and hath but her own native and original notions (which by the strangeness and darkness of this tabernacle of the body are sequestered) again revived and restored: such a light of nature I have observed in your Majesty, and such a readiness to take and blaze from the least occasion presented, or the least spark of another's knowledge delivered. And as the Scripture saith of the wisest king, "That his heart was as the sands of the sea"; which though it be one of the largest bodies, yet it consisteth of the smallest and dunest portions; so hath God given your Majesty a composition of understanding admirable, being able to compass and comprehend the greatest matters, and nevertheless to touch and apprehend the least; whereas it should seem an impossibility in nature, for the same instrument to make itself ïfor great and small works. And for your gift of speech, I call to mind what Cornelius Tacitus saith of Augustus Caesar: "Augusto proïfuens, et quae principem deceret, eloquentia fuit." For if we note it well, speech that is uttered with labour and diffculty, or speech that savoureth of the affectation of art and precepts, or speech that is framed after the imitation of some pattern of eloquence, though never so excellent; all this hath somewhat servile, and holding of the subject.
Francis Bacon|Stephen Jay Gould

About Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon - The Advancement of Learning
Francis Bacon, philosopher, essayist, lawyer and statesman, was born in London in 1561. He studied at Cambridge and was enrolled at Gray’s Inn in 1576. In 1584 he entered Parliament as the member for Melcombe Regis, subsequently representing other constituencies. Bacon made the acquaintance of the Earl of Essex, who endeavored to advance him in his career. Nevertheless, having been appointed to investigate the causes of Essex’s revolt in 1601, Bacon was largely responsible for the earl’s conviction. Bacon was appointed Solicitor-General in 1607 and was successively Attorney-General (1613), Lord Keeper (1617) and Lord Chancellor (1618). He was created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Albans in 1621. Later in that year he was charged with bribery and confessed that he had been guilty of ‘corruption and neglect’ but denied that he had ever perverted justice. He was deprived of the Great Seal, fined, imprisoned in the Tower and disabled from sitting in Parliament. Following his release, he retired to the family home at Gorhambury, Hertfordshire, and his remaining years were spent in literary and philosophical work. It was Bacon’s ambition to create a new system of philosophy to replace that of Aristotle, and he has been justly acclaimed as an inspiration to later scientists, rationalists and materialists. Of his philosophical works, the principal and best known are The Advancement of Learning, Novum Organum and De Augmentis. He also wrote several professional works including Maxims of the Law and Reading on the Statue of Uses. Of his literary writings the most important are the Essays (1597; issued in final form in 1625), De Sapientia Veterum, Apophthegms New and Old and a History of Henry VII. Francis Bacon died in 1626

About Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould - The Advancement of Learning
Stephen Jay Gould was one of the most influential evolutionary biologists and most acclaimed science essayists of the 20th century, and author of numerous books, including The Lying Stones of Marrakech and Questioning the Millennium.

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