Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Standard Quiz on Francis Bacon

.1 'Instauratio Magna' was published while Francis Bacon was Lord Chancellor of England, in the reign of James I, who gave him the title of Baron Verulam. In what year was the first part of his work initially published in its Latin version?



2. The title 'Instauratio Magna' is translated into English as 'Great Instauration', which would leave many contemporary readers none the wiser as to what it is about. What does the word instauration mean?

 Instigation of a new direction
 Restoration after decay or decline
 Systematic investigation
 Careful thought


3. Amazingly, Bacon's attempt to systematically organise all human knowledge and establish an approach for extending our understanding of the universe was completed only five years after the publication of 'De Dignitate et Augmentatis Scientarum'.



4. The first part of 'De Augmentis Scientiarum' ('About the Divisions of the Sciences') explains what was then known about natural philosophy - the explanation of how and why the universe works - and identified areas which he felt needed more work. His major criticism of earlier work was its reliance on deductive logic. What classic form of logical argument exemplifies deductive reasoning?



5. Books II through IX of 'De Augmentis Scientiarum' look systematically at all human knowledge. Which of these is NOT one of the three main divisions of intellectual thought processes and its associated area of knowledge as suggested by Bacon?

 Imagination is associated with the science of poetry
 Reason is associated with the science of philosophy
 Memory is associated with the science of history
 Curiosity is associated with the science of religion


6. The title of the second part of Bacon's work, 'Novum Organum', is usually translated as 'New Method', but could also be written 'New Organon', a direct reference to the 'Organon' (a Greek word meaning instrument or tool), the six-volume work on logic that collects the work of which Greek philosopher?



7. In the first book of 'Novum Organum', Bacon describes four common fallacies in human thought, which he calls idols of the mind. Which of these is NOT one of them?

 Idols of the Mind - a tendency to daydream
 Idols of the Cave - a tendency to be misled by personal preferences
 Idols of the Tribe - a tendency to see meaningful patterns where none actually exists

 Idols of the Theatre - a tendency to accept dogma without questioning it


8. 'Historia Naturalis', the third part of Bacon's 'Instauratio Magna', attempted to study nature in the wild, as it is before human intervention.



9. What metaphor does Bacon use in the fifth part of 'Instauratio Magna' to describe how human understanding should be constructed?

 Foot race
 Roller coaster


10. The final two sections of 'Instauratio Magna', as outlined in the introduction, are about 'The Second Philosophy', which Bacon also describes by which of these terms?

 Passive Ignorance
 Passive Science
 Active Science
 Active Ignorance

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