“Inquisitor de rerum natura”: Sources of Francis Bacon’s experimentalism

This essay explores the relationships between several key elements of Fransic Bacon’s natural philosophy, in particular his attitude towards judicial torture (especially during the prominent witch trials under James I) and his nascent concept of experimentation that was also linked to legal practice and to the idea that “the secrets of nature reveal themselves more readily under the vexations of art than when they go their own way” (Novum Organum, Book I, Aphorism 98). The relationship between Bacon’s experimentalism and his ontological views can be analyzed in his concept of materia prima, according to which the hidden potency of matter reveals itself in the process of generation of all existing things and, simultaneously with such unfolding, the power of matter becomes bound and constrained.


Recommended bibliographic description

, “Inquisitor de rerum natura”: Sources of Francis Bacon’s experimentalism, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  433–454

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
    ISSN 0205-9606. Индекс 70143