Sir Francis Bacon Quotes

God's first creature, which was light.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. New Atlantis, sct. 14 (1627).
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There are four classes of idols which beset men's minds. To these for distinction's sake I have assigned names—calling the first class Idols of the Tribe; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market-Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theatre.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, political figure. Novum Organum, Aphorism 39 (1620). Beginning of a warning to prepare the mind for doing science by eliminating prejudices.
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Those who have handled sciences have either been men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes the middle course; it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, political figure. Novum Organum, ed. J.M. Robertson, p. 288. Contradicts the stereotype of Bacon as a simplistic empiricist.
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There is one principal and as it were radical distinction between different minds, in respect of philosophy and the sciences; which is this: that some minds are stronger and apter to mark the differences of things, others to mark their resemblances. The steady and acute mind can fix its contemplations and dwell and fasten on the subtlest distinctions: the lofty and discursive mind recognises and puts together the finest and most general resemblances. Both kinds however easily err in excess, by catching the one at gradations, the other at shadows.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. Novum Organum, bk. 1, item 55 (1620).
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Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. Novum Organum, bk. 1, aph. 129 (1620).
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It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. "Of Death," Essays (1597-1625).
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Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words, or in good order.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. "Of Discourse," Essays (1597-1625).
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There is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man's self.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. "Of Friendship," Essays (1597-1625).
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It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. "Of Great Place," Essays (1597-1625).
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He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. "Of Innovations," Essays (1597-1625).
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