Francis Bacon: History, Politics and Science, 1561-1626

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Cambridge University Press, 1993 - History - 409 pages
In the centuries since his death, Francis Bacon has been perceived as a promoter and prophet of 'natural science'. Certainly Bacon expected to fill the vacuum which he saw existing in the study of nature; but he also saw himself as a clarifier and promoter of what he called 'policy', that is, the study and improvement of the structure and function of civil states including the then new British state. In this major study, Brian Wormald's first since his work on Clarendon, Bacon is shown resolving this conflict by attending assiduously to both fields, arguing that work on one would help progress in the other. In his teaching, in his practice and in terms of what was actually achieved, the junction between the two enterprises was affected by Bacon's work in history - civil and natural. In this fundamental reappraisal of one of the most complex and innovative figures of the age, Brian Wormald reveals how Bacon's conception and practice of history provided an answer to his strivings in both policy and natural philosophy.

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1
Two programmes Know thyself and know the universe of nature
26
Knowledges are as pyramids whereof history is the basis history civil this latter extended to describe and to include the Common Law of England
46
Logic idols of the mind rhetoric
77
Policy a great part of philosophy Bacons engagements in policy
91
Morality and policy I
109
Morality and policy II
145
Civil history of letters civil history mixed
214
Civil history of the reign of King Henry the 7th
241
Aims and claims but no metaphysics of nature
261
No metaphysics of nature civil history supplies Bacons masculine birth of time
284
Bacon and his markers I
313
Bacon and his markers II
338
Notes
370
Index
399

Morality and policy III
168
Morality and policy IV
190

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