Article ID: CBB403163390

The Concept of Changing Laws of Nature in the Baconian Corpus from 1597 to 1623 (2022)


In his Confession of Faith, Francis Bacon makes the striking claim that the laws of nature have changed over time. While the connections between this claim and theology are outlined in the Confession itself, it is not clear what role the proposal of mutable laws of nature might play in Bacon’s program of reform for natural philosophy. I argue that the notion that the laws of nature have changed over time plays a significant role in shaping the character and content of much of Baconian natural philosophy. I explore this role as it evolves in published works from the 1597 Meditationes Sacrae to the 1623 Historia Vitae et Mortis, while also showing how unpublished material can provide important clarification and illumination of the published works.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Pesic, Peter; (2014)
Francis Bacon, Violence, and the Motion of Liberty: The Aristotelian Background (/isis/citation/CBB001201305/)

Article Schliesser, Eric; (2013)
Newtonian Emanation, Spinozism, Measurement and the Baconian Origins of the Laws of Nature (/isis/citation/CBB001320864/)

Book Alexandrescu, Vlad; Theis, Robert; (2010)
Nature et surnaturel: Philosophies de la nature et métaphysique aux XVIe--XVIIIe siècles (/isis/citation/CBB001023213/)

Book Crocker, Robert; (2001)
Religion, Reason, and Nature in Early Modern Europe (/isis/citation/CBB000500886/)

Article Ross, Richard J.; (2012)
Distinguishing Eternal from Transient Law: Natural Law and the Judicial Laws of Moses (/isis/citation/CBB001200333/)

Article Dana Jalobeanu; (2015)
Disciplining Experience: Francis Bacon’s Experimental Series and the Art of Experimenting (/isis/citation/CBB629362291/)

Thesis Nicholas Anthony Kruckenberg; (2020)
Nature and Man in the Works of Francis Bacon (/isis/citation/CBB144446037/)

Article Mordechai Feingold; (2016)
“Experimental Philosophy”: Invention and Rebirth of a Seventeenth-Century Concept (/isis/citation/CBB091437409/)

Article Dana Jalobeanu; (2018)
Spirits Coming Alive: The Subtle Alchemy of Francis Bacon’s Sylva Sylvarum (/isis/citation/CBB868354009/)

Article Clulee, Nicholas H.; (2012)
John Dee's Ideas and Plans for a National Research Institute (/isis/citation/CBB001251140/)

Book Kennington, Richard; Kraus, Pamela; Hunt, Frank; (2004)
On Modern Origins: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy (/isis/citation/CBB000641953/)

Article Doina-Cristina Rusu; (2022)
Fascination and Action at a Distance in Francis Bacon (/isis/citation/CBB274771071/)

Chapter Mazzotta, Giuseppe; (2012)
The Emergence of Modernity and the New World (/isis/citation/CBB001201656/)

Article Alberto Vanzo; (2015)
Introduction to Special Issue on Experience in Natural Philosophy and Medicine (/isis/citation/CBB898034340/)

Article Doina-Cristina Rusu; (2018)
Same Spirit, Different Structure: Francis Bacon on Inanimate and Animate Matter (/isis/citation/CBB723943257/)

Article Silvia Manzo; (2023)
Francis Bacon on Self-Care, Divination, and the Nature–Fortune Distinction (/isis/citation/CBB467830858/)

Thesis Artis, Aderemi Ethan; (2007)
Francis Bacon and the Scientific Reformation (/isis/citation/CBB001561281/)

Book Paolo Palmieri; (2016)
Hermes and the Telescope: In the Crucible of Galileo's Life-World (/isis/citation/CBB515798894/)

Article Michele Miele; (2005)
Le certezze anticopernicane di Paolo Minerva e la le loro radici (/isis/citation/CBB100146454/)

Authors & Contributors
Rusu, Doina-Cristina
Jalobeanu, Dana
Crocker, Robert
Kennington, Richard H.
Hunt, Frank
Kraus, Pamela A.
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Perspectives on Science
Past and Present
Journal of the History of Ideas
Seventeenth Century
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Lexington Books
Georg Olms Verlag
Princeton University
The Catholic University of America
Peter Lang
Natural philosophy
Science and religion
Natural laws
Philosophy of science
Experiments and experimentation
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Galilei, Galileo
Descartes, René
Spinoza, Baruch
Newton, Isaac
Machiavelli, Niccolò
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
18th century
Royal Society of London

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment