Tag Archives: Francis Bacon

The Arts Intellectual of Francis Bacon

The arts intellectual are four in number, divided according to the ends whereunto they are referred—for man’s labour is to invent that which is sought or propounded; or to judge that which is invented; or to retain that which is judged; or to deliver over that which is retained. So as the arts must be four—art of inquiry or invention; art of examination or judgment; art of custody or memory; and art of elocution or tradition.

— Francis Bacon in “The Advancement of Learning”, Second Book Chapter XII

This four-part division is based on the ends and aims of human endeavour. Man finds what he has been looking for, judges what he has found, retains what he has judged and transmits what he has retained.

— From Paoli Rossi, “Logic and the Art of Memory”

Further Reading:



Paoli Rossi / Logic and the Art of Memory: the quest for a universal language

The Four Idols of Francis Bacon

[*9.85, *11.164]



The Four Idols of Francis Bacon

sq_four_idols2As a counterpoint to my previous post (and perhaps most of my previous posts) I present the following from Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum:

Idols of the Tribe
Errors in the mind of the group
Beliefs because most people have them

Idols of the Cave
Errors in the mind of the individual
Beliefs due to limited experience

Idols of the Marketplace
Errors in the use of words
Beliefs due to misuse of words

Idols of the Theater
Errors in false learning
Beliefs colored by religion and personal philosophy