Knowledge is Power: Francis Bacon and the Method of Science

Henry, John. Knowledge is Power: Francis Bacon and the Method of Science. Cambridge: Icon Books, 2002.

Publisher’s Review: “At the dawn of modern science in the 16th/17th century intelectuals were used to reading, commenting and – if they were really adventurous – writing books. So it has always been a matter of some mystery how the experimental side of science came about. What were its rootes? Now John Henry claimes that these roots lie for a big part in the practice of Natural Magick. Henry makes it clear that in a sense Natural Magick was just the medieval term for experimental science. It is because this experimental science operated under a paradigm that seems very misguided to us now, that the experiments sometimes seem a bit wacko. (I talk about turning lead into gold of course). The paradigm is that of the Great Chain of Being, complemented with lemma’s about Signs (of God). Under this paradigm it makes perfect sense to expect almonds to have effects on the brain (remember how the inside of almonds look). Natural Magick became very popular with intellectuals during the 16th/17th centuries, due to the discovery of a Natural Magick book (Corpus Hermeticum) that claimed to be both very old and showing christian characteristics. It was believed to reveal ancient – Adamic – wisdom. So, I think John Henry points to the right direction. My point is however, that this means that all books on the history of science I’ve read so far tell only half the story, since they fail to recognize the influence of Natural Magick. So, do you believe in magic?”