We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
Francis Bacon's Natural Philosophy: A New Source, and: Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science: An Account and a Reappraisal, and: Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age: A Commentary of Bacon's "Advancement of Learning" (review)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS 289 previous method, this aims to explain the ideas of medieval thinkers, as far as possible, in terms accessible to readers today and in relation to contemporary concerns, but it is also attentive to the medieval texts, their methods, scope, and historical contexts. Part Two is an extended example of how "historical analysis" can be applied to the problem of intellectual knowledge. After a brief survey of the Greek and Arab backgrounds , the problem is studied in William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Ghent, Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. The exposition of their doctrines is informative and generally accurate, but the weakness of the approach soon comes to light. The topic of knowledge was chosen because it is clearly philosophical and admits of historical examination. It is also relevant to the modern philosopher (i.e., the linguistic philosopher, see lo 7, a37). Thus it is studied in contexts such as that of logic and theology, which are of interest to an analytic thinker, but not in the context of metaphysics , since metaphysics is less cultivated in analytic circles. To men like Aquinas and Scotus, however, the problem of knowledge is primarily metaphysical, for knowing is a way of being, and it cannot be adequately understood without a study of being and its modes. The lack of a metaphysical perspective is also noticeable in the account of Aquinas's doctrines of truth (126-27) and the composition of man (t22-23). Some particular lapses: For Aquinas quiddity is said to be only "a term of analysis," not an element in a real distinction (119); for Aristotle science concerns unchanging things 048); for Scotus the formal distinction is merely one of reason and not on the side of reality (157). Within the limits set by the author the book provides a useful introduction to later medieval philosophy. The style is clear and concise. It has an ample bibliography and an index. ARMAND A. MAORER Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Graham Rees. Francis Bacon's Natural Philosophy: A New Source. A Transcription of Manuscript Hardwick 72A with Translation and Commentary. British Society for the History of Science Monograph Series, 5. Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire: British Society for the History of Science, 1984. Pp. v + 197. $12.5o. Peter Urbach. Francis Bacon's Philosophyof Science:An Account and a Reappraisal. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1987. Pp. viii + 2o9. $29.95. Jerry Weinberger. Science, Faith, and Politics: Francis Bacon and the Utopian Roots of the Modern Age: A CommentaTy of Bacon's "Advancement of Learning." Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985 . Pp. 342 . $32.5° . Graham Rees presents a facing-page translation, with introductory comment and apparatus crit/cus, of Bacon's De viis morris(An inquiv) concerningthe waysof death, thepostponing of old age, and restorationof the vital powers)--the longest previously untranslated work of Bacon in manuscript. It seems to have been written sometime between 1611 and ~6~9, and may have passed by way of Thomas Hobbes to William Cavendish. The manuscript is covered with revisions amt comments, making it hard to decipher; there seem 2O JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 28:2 APRIL 199o to be two versions, the second of which is an incomplete attempt at revising the first. It is just this mixture of "generations" of Bacon's thought process, his working notes moving from his earliest ideas about "spirit and gross matter" to what are here emerging as his more mature views, that makes study of this work so rewarding. Since the 159os, Bacon had worked both on his experimental philosophy and on his speculative theory of nature. Rees sees Bacon's concept of "vital spirit" as the central, unifying concept enabling the experimental and the speculative to come under one larger theory--and it is in De Viis that Bacon can be seen fitting these parts together (35), showing how the various sorts of spirit interact with the "tangible appetites" of different sorts of matter. This work, then, prefigures the Abecedarium and the 1623 De aug-men~ scieraiarum in which, as Rees puts it, "the two halves of the complex were developed and extended to such a degree that they constituted a comprehensive...