James Everest (London): Francis Bacon's Method and the Investigation of Lights

07.01.2016 16:00 Uhr – 18:00 Uhr

wann: Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2016, 16-18 Uhr

wo: Historicum, Schellingstr. 12, Raum 026

Vortrag im Rahmen des Oberseminars "Perspektiven der Wissenschaftsgeschichte"

Historically, one of the things for which the English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) has been well known is his scientific method, known as ‘Baconian induction’ or ‘induction by elimination’. His method has traditionally been abstracted from the works in which he describes it, often with the purpose of critiquing it (although sometimes in order to defend, or simply describe, it). In this paper, my interest is not in the philosophical merits or demerits of the method; instead, I intend to contribute to a project to resituate it in the context of Bacon’s work. Most famously, the method appears as a case-study inquiry into the ‘form’ of heat in the Novum organum. The main focus of my talk, however, will be its deployment is the less well-known Topica inquisitionis de luce et luminis. Here, I will suggest, it functions less as an abstract tool for the investigation of nature, and more as a personal means of engaging in a debate about the nature of light, prompted by the work of an Italian contemporary, Bernardino Telesio.