Bacon identifies four different classes of idol. Each arises from a different source, and each presents its own special hazards and difficulties.
# 1. The Idols of the Tribe. These are the natural weaknesses and tendencies common to human nature. Because they are innate, they cannot be completely eliminated, but only recognized and compensated for. Some of Bacon’s examples are:
Our senses – which are inherently dull and easily deceivable. (Which is why Bacon prescribes instruments and strict investigative methods to correct them.)
Our tendency to discern (or even impose) more order in phenomena than is actually there. As Bacon points out, we are apt to find similitude where there is actually singularity, regularity where there is actually randomness, etc.
Our tendency towards “wishful thinking.” According to Bacon, we have a natural inclination to accept, believe, and even prove what we would prefer to be true.
Our tendency to rush to conclusions and make premature judgments (instead of gradually and painstakingly accumulating evidence).”
See link below for extensive description of the Four Idols of Francis Bacon:
4 idols http://www.sirbacon.org/links/4idols.htm
The second part, Novum Organum, was published in 1620 and thus preceeded the Latin version of the first part but was developed from its English version. In Bacon's own words it contains "true directions concerning the interpretation of nature."
Its first book investigates the causes for human error and distinguishes four categories, which he calls idols of the mind. The idols of the tribe are faults of the human intellect found universally with all mankind. Idols of the cave are intellectual faults of individuals. Idols of the marketplace are the result of inaccuracies of language, and idols of the theatre are misconceptions of philosophy.
Divisions of human learning as set out in Bacon's Advancement of Learning.In addition to this, in The Wisdom Of The Ancients, written by Francis Bacon in 1609.
Book II of the Novum Organum describes the author's "new method", which is essentially inductive: Finding the truth is not achieved through the collection of supporting observations but by elimination.
Bacon's systematization of all human knowledge is contained in Book II of Advancement of Learning and in Books II - IX of De Augmentis Scientiarum. It begins with three basic divisions of intellectual endevour: memory, imagination and reason. To these are assigned the sciences of history, poetry and philosophy. Bacon ignores poetry after a cursory discussion. He divides history into natural history (the history of things) and civil history (the history of ideas). Further subdivision leads to physics and metaphysics (theoretical science) and their practical or technological counterparts, mechanics and "natural magic."
Knowledge was not to be acquired merely for its own sake, which is learning, but for its use, which is intelligence. The principal end of philosophy is to improve the state of man; the merit of all learning is to be determined by its measure of usefulness.
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