The Rebirth of Time: Sir. Francis Bacon and the Origins of Modernity
Modernity properly speaking begins with Sir. Francis Bacon. Alternate accounts of modernity as beginning either with secularism or with Machiavelli (Strauss), while having partial validity are less compelling than the account of the genesis of modernity in the birth of the technological mind. Secularism is an effect not a cause of technologism by giving credibility to the idea of human self-sufficiency, while political realism was already a recognized factor in ancient Greece. The centrality of technology to modernity has been recognized as its salient feature by more recent thinkers from Marx to Heidegger. But it was Bacon who inaugurated modernity by his frontal assault on the authority of Aristotle and his conception of rationality. Though drawing on Aristotle for his inductive methodology, he critiques three fundamental assumptions of Aristotelianism. These are first the anti-utilitarian conception of Aristotle which sees wisdom as having inherent nobility quite apart from any practical considerations and consequences. Secondly, is Aristotle’s hierarchy of the sciences which privilege the theoretic sciences over the practical ones, which formed the basis for the historical privileging of the liberal arts over the mechanical arts (technology.) Third, is Aristotle’s characterization of the theoretic life which contemplates truth for its own sake as the highest. All these inter-related claims of Aristotelianism will become increasingly suspect under the impact of Baconianism which provides the foundation stone for much of the later modern outlook.
- Aquinas, St. Thomas. 1947. Summa Theologica. Trans. Dominican Fathers of the English Province. At DHS priory. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/FS/FS003.html#FSQ3OUTP1. Accessed May 2018.
- Bacon, Francis. 2008. Francis Bacon: The Major Works. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. De Augmentis Scientiarum. 1826. In The works of Francis Bacon. https://books.google.es/books?id=tTrjAAAAMAAJ. Accessed 1 June 2018.
- ———. Novum Organum. 1620 (English trans. Based on Robert Leslie Ellis 1863.) http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/bacon/bacon.liber1.shtml. Accessed 1 June 2018.
- ———. English trans. of Novum Organum (Based on Robert Leslie Ellis 1863.) http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.htm. Accessed August 2018.
- Boethius of Dacia. De Summo Bono. In Documentacatholica.eu http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/1200-1300,_Boetius_Dacius,_De_Summo_Bono_Sive_de_Vita_Philosophi,_LT.pdf. Accessed May 2018.
- Copleston, F.C. 1993 (reprint). A History of Philosophy, Vol. II. New York: Image-Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Heidegger, Martin. 2008. Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell. London (et al.): HarperCollins.Google Scholar
- Luther, Martin. 1915. The Works of Martin Luther. Philadelphia: A.J. Holman Company Internet Christian Library. http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/nblty-07.html. Accessed May 2018.Google Scholar
- Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich. 2002 (1848). The Communist Manifesto. Gareth Stedman Jones (ed.), Samuel Moore (trans). London (et al.): Penguin.Google Scholar
- Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. 2010. In Search of the Sacred. Santa Barbara, et al: Praeger. Interview with Ramin Jahanbegloo. Accessed 13 Aug 2018. via JHU library.)Google Scholar
- Rossi, Paolo. 1968. Francis Bacon from Magic to Science. Trans. Sascha Rabinovitch. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- ———. 1973. Baconianism. In Dictionary of the history of ideas. Vol. I. 172–179. Charles Scribner’s Sons. At University of Virginia Library. http://xtf.lib.virginia.edu/xtf/view?docId=DicHist/uvaBook/tei/DicHist1.xml;chunk.id=dv1-25;toc.depth=1;toc.id=dv1-25;brand=default. Accessed May 2018.
- Sadoleto, Jacopo. 1916 translation. (Nabu reprint.) Sadoleto on Education. A Translation of the De Pueris Recte Instituendis Trans. Ernest Trafford Campagnac (translator.) Oxford University Press, 1916 – Nabu reprint.Google Scholar
- Sheehan, Thomas. 2013. Thomas Sheehan on Heidegger and Technology. Podcast originally at Stanford: http://french-italian.stanford.edu/opinions/ (I believe I accessed a You Tube version in August, 2018).
- Strauss, Leo. 1989. The Three Waves of Modernity. In An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays by Leo Strauss, ed. Hilail Gilden. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
- William of Occam. Summa Logicae. Logic Museum. http://www.logicmuseum.com/wiki/Authors/Ockham/Summa_Logicae/Book_I/Chapter_15. November 2, 2015.