Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Res, veluti per Machinas, Conficiatur: Natural History and the 'Mechanical' Reform of Natural Philosophy

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Early Science and Medicine

This paper revisits Bacon's persistent 'mechanical' imagery by which he described the 'aid' through which the human mind would be rendered adequate to framing axioms about nature's processes and properties that underlie all natural phenomena. It argues that the role Bacon ascribed to his own insights into the properties and motions of matter is crucial for grasping such instrumental imagery, because his own writings—both methodological and natural historical—need to be read as themselves comprising, at least in incipient form, the very instruments of which they speak. From that reflexive standpoint, this paper in particular focuses on the 'aid' to the senses that his natural histories were to have offered under the interpretative guidance offered by the Novum organum and other works. The 'hypothetical' status to which Bacon is often thought to have accorded his own natural philosophical insights does not adequately take into account the transformative power Bacon thought these insights should have through his own writings. The fact that Bacon was keenly sensitive to the psychological effects of textual authority in his intellectual milieu prompts new reflection concerning how he intended his own texts to be read, and how we should read them.

Affiliations: 1: University of King's College, 6350 Coburg Road, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 2A1;, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Early Science and Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation