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Knowledge is Power: How Magic, the Government and an Apocalyptic Vision Inspired Francis Bacon to Create Modern Science
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Knowledge is Power: How Magic, the Government and an Apocalyptic Vision Inspired Francis Bacon to Create Modern Science

(Icon Science)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  10 reviews
John Henry gives a dramatic account of the background to Bacon's innovations and the sometimes unconventional sources for his ideas.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 7th 1999 by Icon Books (first published December 31st 1950)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Jrobertus
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book and a must read for scientists. Francis Bacon had a colorful life as a diplomat, coutier, religious philosopher, but is most noted as the father of modern experimental science. This book is so important because is puts that latter role into sharp, clear, historical context. Bacon was not a modern scientist, nor were his beliefs modern; they were a product of his time. Bacon never made any scientific discoveries or formulated any particular laws, like a Newton or Galile ...more
Bertrand
I've finished The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind not long ago, where Grayling discusses the sometimes vexed question of the relationship between religion and the emergence of modern science, with particular attention given to heterodox religion, which he calls 'occultism'. Grayling's book is good-much more general than this one-but he is sometimes predictably skeptical when it comes to religion and dogmatic when it comes to science: I was after a divergent op ...more
Ed
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful introduction to Francis Bacon. It is also a wonderful introduction to how to approach the history of science historically. Consider the question of Bacon's inductive method, which is usually criticized as simplistic. Henry does not deny those judgments, but asks how Bacon's argument that scientists should gather data without theoretical preconceptions was so popular in the seventeenth century. Henry asks these kinds of questions throughout this book. His writing is lively and ...more
Paul De Belder
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A really clear explanation of Bacon’s philosophy in its historical context. Interesting how “natural magic” influenced both Bacon’s theories and the development of science, or “natural philosophy”. Bacon made it respectable for natural philosophers to get their hands dirty on experiments, rather than just staying in their armchairs, thinking profound thoughts.

It get’s me thinking of trying to continue my reading of “Novum Organum”, given up a few years ago...
Sally
A very good history of Bacon’s contributions to science, the influences on his thinking and how it developed, and why he remains influential. The connection with magic, the empirical field of practical knowledge as opposed to natural philosophy which was deductive, abstract, and largely rooted in theology and classical philosophy, was particularly interesting.
Shaddaad 'Abd 'An-Nahl Mas'oud
Haven't completed book, stagnated.
Dan Ragsdale
This book intrigued and fascinated me. The British author provides an excellent and accessible summary of the great contributions to science and philosophy that Bacon over the course of his life. His desire to pursue all possible knowledge about the physical world by employing a vast bureaucracy of civil servants was,of course, both overly ambitious and some what misguided. Never-the-less, I can conceive of another soul who did more to advance the development of natural philosophy (later, simpl ...more
Jrobertus
a slim volume about the 16th century philosopher frances bacon, often thought of as the inventor of modern science. i was interested in the role of magic, religion, and especially alchemy in the development of modern science
Gareth
A great little book. Gives a neat overview of Bacon's life and thought, and is not afraid to make a clear, positive link with the 'irrational' - namely, Bacon's indebtedness to contemporary views on 'natural magic' and millenarianism.
Emma
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it
underwhelming but tbh I don't like early modern history so I'm biased toward indifference anyway with this subject
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