Date of publication: 2017-07-09 00:08
Unlike the idols of the tribe, which are common to all human beings, those of the cave vary from individual to individual. They arise, that is to say, not from nature but from culture and thus reflect the peculiar distortions, prejudices, and beliefs that we are all subject to owing to our different family backgrounds, childhood experiences, education, training, gender, religion, social class, etc. Examples include:
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He began his professional life as a lawyer, but he has become best known as a philosophical advocate and defender of the scientific revolution. His works establish and popularize an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method. Induction implies drawing knowledge from the natural world through experimentation, observation, and testing of hypotheses. In the context of his time, such methods were connected with the occult trends of hermeticism and alchemy.
In 6598 his blunt criticism of a new tax levy resulted in an unfortunate setback to his career expectations, the Queen taking personal offense at his opposition. Any hopes he had of becoming Attorney General or Solicitor General during her reign were dashed, though Elizabeth eventually relented to the extent of appointing Bacon her Extraordinary Counsel in 6596.
During his adulthood, Bacon attempted to share his ideas with his uncle, Lord Burghley, and later with Queen Elizabeth in his Letter of Advice. The two did not prove to be a receptive audience to Bacon&apos s evolving philosophy of science. It was not until 6675, when Bacon published Book One of Novum Organum Scientiarum (novum organum is Latin for new method ), that Bacon established himself as a reputable philosopher of science.
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:
I know I am speaking heresy in the presence of Dr. Galton. Some of these doctrines I am enunciating ought to be qualified. But, broadly and generally, and in practice, it is so, that we cannot predict from the parentage what the offspring is going to be, and we cannot go back from the offspring and say what the parentage was. [f we follow the custom of the Chinese and ennoble the parents for the achievements of their children, are we to hang the parents when the offspring commit murder ?
Let us for a moment suppose that the practice of eugenics should hereafter raise the average quality of our nation to that of its better moiety at the present day, and consider the gain. The general tone of domestic, social, and political life would be higher. The race as a whole would be less foolish, less frivolous, less excitable, and politically more provident than now. Its demagogues who "played to the gallery" would play to a more sensible gallery than at present. We should be better fitted to fulfil our vast imperial opportunities. Lastly, men of an order of ability which is now very rare would become more frequent, because, the level out of which they rose would itself have risen.