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Flashcards in Francis Bacon Deck (14):

When did Francis Bacon live?



What role did Francis Bacon serve in government (also occupied by Sir Thomas More)?

Lord Chancellor


What legal trouble did Bacon get into in 1621?

He was convicted on twenty-three counts of corruption and accepted bribes; Bacon claimed everyone did it, he was just the only one to get caught.


What is Bacon's relationship to the scientific age?

Though he wasn't actually involved in any scientific discoveries, he is considered a herald of the modern age. He greatly supported and believed in experimentation, and believe that science was the pathway to Utopia.


Of Great Place: To what three powers are men in prestigious positions subject to?

- The sovereign/state
- Fame
- Business


Of Great Place: What is the upside to having high standing?

The ability to do good work


Of Great Place: What are the four vices of authority?

- delays
- corruption
- roughness
- facility (docility)


Of Great Place: What is the premise of this essay?

Holding a prestigious position is tricky. It increases your responsibilities and offers many opportunities for corruption. Power is necessary for implementing good in the world, so you shouldn't necessarily avoid positions of power - but you should be very careful once you achieve them.


Of Superstition: What are the causes of superstition?

- pleasing and sensual rites
- overgreat reverence of traditions
- conniving church figures promoting their own advancement
- the favoring of good intentions
- barbarous times (especially calamities and disasters)
- humans thinking to intervene in divine matters

Some of these causes are the fault of men, and some of them are reactions of men to their circumstances.


Of Superstition: What is the premise of this essay?

Superstition (irrational religious practices) are founded on ignorance and are an insult to God. Even atheism is better than superstitious beliefs, because at least atheism is rational.


Of Superstition: What does Bacon mean by "superstition"?

Roman Catholicism


Of Marriage and the Single Life: What is the conceit of this essay?

Marriage and children prevent men from doing great work, but men with children may think more about the future good of society than men without.

Unmarried men may have more money (and thus may give more to charity), but are more likely to be cruel because they don't have a wife and children to teach them tenderness.


Of Studies: What are three uses of study, according to Bacon?

- delight (private life)
- ornament (discourse)
- ability (business)


Of Studies: What is the conceit of this essay?

Studies are useful in augmenting many areas of life, but it can be dangerous if we indulge too much. They are important, but must be tempered with the wisdom of experience. Studying different disciplines can provide remedies for the diverse "defects of the mind."