Article ID: CBB815665162

Dissecting Nature ad vivum: Parts and Wholes in Francis Bacon’s Natural Philosophy (2022)


Francis Bacon’s atomism has been discussed in the literature from the restricted perspective related to his appetitive matter theory. In this paper I will approach Bacon’s atomism differently, from the perspective of his numerous attempts to define and determine concrete, individual bodies, subject to experimental trials. I show that what Bacon finds useful about Democritian atomism is that it uses division as a method of investigation and a heuristic tool. Bacon is interested in division, but this is not solely for the purpose of building a matter-theory. His interest is more general and regards the ways in which experiments and the experimental investigation can be used to determine correctly the concrete bodies which undergo transformations. It is what Bacon calls «cutting nature at its joints».

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Authors & Contributors
Rusu, Doina-Cristina
Lenzi, Massimiliano
Franco D'Intino
Antonella Pagano
Elisabetta Orsini
Nicoli, Elena
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Acque Sotterranee
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Intellectual History Review
SISMEL edizioni del Galluzzo
Franco Angeli
Carocci Editore
University of Virginia
Natural philosophy
Experimental method
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Locke, John
Hume, David
Montaigne, Michel Eyquem de
Harvey, William
Spenser, Edmund
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
Early modern
19th century
15th century
Toulouse (France)

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