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The New Organon (Novum Organum) or; The True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  920 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
The Novum Organum is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon published in 1620. The title translates as "new instrument". This is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. For Bacon, finding the essence of a thing was ...more
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Since I’ve lately read Aristotle’s original, I thought I’d go ahead and read Bacon’s New Organon. The title more or less says it all. For this book is an attempt to recast the method of the sciences in a better mold. Whereas Aristotle spends pages and pages enumerating the various types of syllogisms, Bacon dismisses it all with one wave of the hand—away with such scholarly nonsense! Because Aristotle is so single-mindedly deductive, his scientific research came to naught; or, as Bacon puts it, ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. In philosophy and theory more generally, it's a mistake to talk about things being ahead of their time, because there are always assholes clinging onto false and blatantly idiotic notions (see natural law and/or divine command theory for an example) and keeping them contemporary, not even to mention that most of the world's public life is still based on not even interesting ancient myths. It's also the case that really most of the intellectual paths one may take were sketch ...more
Imene Philosophia
The New Organon forms part of the great renewal, or Instauratio magna, an ambitious practical and theoretical project to overhaul and reform the way in which man investigates nature. Bacon divides his project into six parts: one) a summary of current knowledge, two) the New Organon itself, which sets out the method to be followed and seeks to prepare the mind for investigation, three) a complete natural history, that will provide the foundations for this investigation, four) examples of the kind ...more
Andrea Giovana
Apr 06, 2015 Andrea Giovana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 17th-century, science
We could say that Francis Bacon, a seventeenth century scholar, certainly revolutionized Western thought by proposing new forms of researching the "natural philosophies". His inductive method predicate, first, freeing the human mind of its "idols", that distract and corrupt it, and then, by cautious and comparative observations, formulating new general laws, which would illuminate the path to new discoveries. As for the book itself, reading it was somewhat difficult, for two reasons in my view: ...more
Khaled Taydi
كتاب مرهق، لا أنصح بقراءته الا لمن تمرس لغة الفلسفة والمنطق ، خصوصا الجزء الثاني منه، شأنه شأن الدواء؛ يؤخذ على جرعات .
إن كنت تبحث عن متعة القراءة، والقراءة الممتعة ، فلا أظن أن هذا الكتاب سيكون اختيارا موفقا !
Arkar Kyaw
Edgy fedora tipper. Shitposting at its best.
mohab samir
Aug 23, 2016 mohab samir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فلسفة
كما قلنا مراراً وسنقولها كثيرا بما أننا نقرأ فى أمهات الكتب أكرر فأقول أننا لا يجب أن نحكم على هذه الكتب على أساس مفاهيمنا الحالية وظروف عصرنا الأدبية أو العلمية أو خلاصةً لا يجب أن نقيمها من وجهة نظر فكرنا الحديث وخط تطوره وسرعته أو بعبارة أخرى لا نقيمها بوجهة نظرنا الفردية إلا بعد محاولة تحريرها من أسر الظروف المحيطة الحالية قدر الإمكان وأن نحاول أن نرجع بطريقة تفكيرنا متدهورين فى الزمن إلى العصور التى كتبت فيها هذه البذور التى أثمرت عقولنا المعاصرة محاولين أن نكتشف عقول هذا العصر فى ظل ظروفه ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Þróndr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This volume also contains the preface to The Great Renewal (Instauratio Magna) of which The New Organon (Novum Organum Scientiarum) is the second of six parts – a very ambitious work to say the least, though Bacon saw no possibility of being able to finish it on his own – and that also was not his intention. Bacon rather set out a grand plan for improving science, fully aware that this would have to be a joint project lasting for generations to come. He wants to do away with received doctrine, s ...more
Lukas op de Beke
The New Organon, the sequel to the Division of the Sciences found in Bacon's imposing Advancement of Learning, is divided in two books of roughly equal size. Really only the first book is worth reading as a work in philosophy as the second book deals with the reports of a number of experiments conducted by Bacon himself and his peers. Needless to say, these 17th experiments in the light of modern science (unlike the history of science) are amateurish and of no significance anymore.

To sum it up,
Some random ideas and notes from and about this piece before I forget them:

1) Science doesn't always have to be useful as long as it searches for the truth. The truth is a more noble goal than utility.

2) Even the research which seems to be useless because it doesn't give us anything usefull is important- not only because of the point 1 but also because each bit of knowledge is like a piece of jigsaw that might become very important in some future research. Bacon promotes the method of induction-
Jake Yaniak
King Charles II once asked the Royal Society to explain why a dead fish does not add any weight to a vessel of water, though a live on does. In all their conjectures, it was some time before anyone thought to try the experiment.

It is chiefly to guard against such errors that Francis Bacon wrote the New Organon. He suggests that rather than idly speculating on physics, true discoveries will only come when you go out and see what nature does. Only after the data is collected will it avail you to t
Azzam To'meh
One of the most problem-causing books of the century. Am actually writing a paper about the book. The domination of nature, and accumulation of knowledge as a goal are two of the biggest problems of the modern world. To dominate nature is to dominate man, as man is part of nature; hence, the exploitation of man, and the environmental crisis. In addition, t=to accumulate knowledge tends to ruin more than it tends to fix. Check Rousseau's Discourse on the Arts and Sciences to know what I'm talking ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his zeal to challenge the Aristotelian teaching of his youth, Bacon swung to other extreme. Aristotle’s deductive reasoning had dominated for centuries before Bacon. Natural science was explored through the use of syllogisms based off premises arrived at by generalized observation. Once the premises were established, the inductive method was cast aside in favor of deduction. Science was solely an intellectual exercise which sought theoretical causation for effects that were observed. Hypothes ...more
Rowland Bismark
Jun 03, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bacon's most immediate philosophical context is that of Aristotelian philosophy, which was still one of the prevalent intellectual currents of Bacon's day. Aristotle's Physics, which emphasized the role of a complex system of causes, form and matter, offered a theoretical rather than experimental picture of the natural world. Medieval Aristotelian philosophers, collectively known as the scholastics, sought to interpret and update Aristotle's system. However, absolute consensus around Aristotle c ...more
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His "New Organon" is actually the second of seven parts of Bacon's full synopsis of thought. Written 6 years before his death, Bacon here takes a very large step in the direction of modern scientific inquiry. The theme is an argument for "Interpretation of Nature" rather than the then -- and now -- current "Anticipation of the Mind." Bacon's claim is that anticipation involves jumping to conclusions about scientific law and then observing that which confirms those conclusions, while "interpretat ...more
Dec 23, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory
FB's manifesto for what would become the experimental science of the Royal Society, and of everyone else after that. Lots of shit-talking Aristotle, equates scientific progress with colonial takeover and mastering (by submitting to) the feminine, some exhilarating moments of rhetorical idol-smashing. Actual experiments are a little goofy. Surprisingly current re: Science's ideal vision of itself (see Richard Dawkins for more on this).

oh yeah, foucault's knowledge/power thing begins here:

Jun 21, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Francis of Verulam reasoned thus with himself, and judged it to be for the interest of the present and future generations that they should be made acquainted with his thoughts."

Book 1 and the preface/plan are excellent. I was wary of the axiom format at first, but it flows well. Some good ways of setting out arguments. Idol of the marketplace is especially interesting.

Book 2, however, is an endurance event sustained only by the occasional curio of antiquated scientific thought.
Roderick Brunt
Oct 01, 2012 Roderick Brunt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bacon's Novum Organan Scientiarum is indisputably a masterpiece of modern pedagogy. In itself, it is a complete and instructive manual for factual deductions in the sciences.
The basic principles covered within the Novum Organan Scientiarum actually span the entire sphere of learning and teaching alike in both theory and practice. John Amos Comenius edified the Baconian ideas put forth in this work in relation to pedagogy even more precisely than Bacon himself, in that Bacon was not solely commi
Jun 16, 2016 Zac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than Advancement, though Bacon is still long-winded. The historical quotes and his own turns of phrase were intrinsically enjoyable, however, so most of this can be forgiven.
It's amusing to see the founder of modern science methodology started his career in order to benefit human instead of taking interest in nature. this one is historically valuable but I have a hard time seeing how it could help us today.
Oct 28, 2015 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sjc
Baconian eschatology: Look at the aphorism in which he quotes the epigraph from Daniel ("many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased...") and then consider what happens next in Daniel. Science to welcome the apocalypse!
Feb 23, 2015 Tahani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a must read book!
Apr 26, 2010 Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sheer brilliance. Pure genius. Bacon lets the old medieval school systems and so called science have it. This isn't just the foundation of the scientific method but the destruction of centuries old nonsense and faulty thinking. Brutally efficient, Bacon is also piercingly insightful to not only the human psyche but also on how to investigate and understand Nature. Judging by the success of his project, I’d say he laid a rock solid foundation for future generations to enjoy the fruits of science.
Dec 28, 2012 Briana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first half was alright. It was good to hear about how the ideas on pursuing natural philosophy developed into the modern scientific method. I liked Bacon's enthusiasm.

The second half was murder. Slogging through all of the ways of induction made my soul feel like it was shriveling up and dying. It made me hate college.

End of story: I like your enthusiasm, Bacon, but I can't go there with you. Go do your thing somewhere else. Away from me. But have fun with that.
Elisabeth Sepulveda
Dec 17, 2013 Elisabeth Sepulveda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Good background on an influential voice in the intersecting discussion between philosophy and science. I like the way Bacon outlined the 4 idols of the mind with specificity and the influence they have on obscuring reason. I also appreciated the fact that he used less inferences than Descartes, approaching knowledge in a systematic direction from simple to complex--something I think best prevents error, if anything can. Good for a historical perspective on methodology.
Ivan Soto
Interesting only as to get a feel for the history of the philosophy of science. Bacon's enumeration of experiments is hilarious in light of today's knowledge and he himself failed one of the most important tests of his experimental enthusiasm in his contempt for William Harvey and other men of science, including many in Bacon's past, such as Galen.
Marts  (Thinker)
Bacon's Novum Organum which translates to 'new instrument' considers a new logical system overriding old reasoning methods ie. syllogism.
His work considers finding the true essence of a thing via induction, considering varying situations involving its occurance, those lacking it, and those where variations occur.
Nov 10, 2008 Grace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was really thorough. He made it more difficult in the first part because he never uses examples. So it's an eaisier read if you make up an example and put it through all of his steps.
*Kind of a tedious read.*
i've created a fake personality for Bacon in my head that I really don't like. But reading this a second time around maybe he's not so bad.
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Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, QC, was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.

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“The Idols of Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.” 9 likes
“The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds.” 6 likes
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