“From Correctness to Values and Meaning in Bacon’s Advancement of Learning”

Durel, H. “From Correctness to Values and Meaning in Bacon’s Advancement of Learning (1605).” History of European Ideas 33, no. 3 (2007): 261–74.

Publisher’s Review: “When he surveyed the whole of knowledge in the first book of The Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon identified three main diseases: firstly, an exaggerated care for form or style, which was dead learning; secondly a study of a false, not wrong, learning based on heated debates, teeming, so to speak, with the living worms of endless questions and answers. Finally, Bacon condemned not as a disease but a vice a ‘wrong’ learning based on the thriving of pseudo-sciences and the comfortable connivance of masters and disciples. Altogether, after spelling out these three criticisms, he trusted that knowledge should not simply deal with correctness or exactness, but should aim at truth coupled with the welfare of mankind. He based his belief explicitly on saint Paul’s view of knowledge-for-the-good-of-Christians, which to him meant potentially all men. The lesson for today’s academic life, both lecturing and research, would or might be to couple the search for truth with the aim of the good of man. The academic world might then rediscover values and meaning.”

Taylor Francis Online