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The Weatherglass And Its Observers In The Early Seventeenth Century

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Chapter Summary

In the literature on Francis Bacon?s work few attempts have been made from a philological and historical point of view to reach an understanding of exactly what his attitude was towards technics, technical knowledge and its development. To introduce this theme, this chapter refers to some pages from a classic of historiography, Paolo Rossi?s I filosofi e le macchine. The chapter then describes the essential framework of Paolo Rossi?s reading of Bacon?s reform of knowledge. It looks in more detail ? limiting itself to Book I of Novum Organum, plus some references to Book II and to The Advancement of Learning ?, at the way in which Bacon develops his argument about technics to use the expression definitively codified in the Middle Ages and which he continues to adopt. The chapter finally examines perfectibility and, in part, invention, leaving the concepts of progressiveness, collaboration and intersubjectivity for some other occasion.

Keywords: Francis Bacon; historiography; I filosofi e le macchine; invention; Middle Ages; Novum Organum; Paolo Rossi; perfectibility; technical knowledge; The Advancement of Learning



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