A Critic's Meta Review: 5/5
A Critic's Meta Review: 5/5
Bacon's undeniable genius as a phrase-maker appears to great advantage in his later essays. References to these phrases can be found in a variety of later works, which speaks to the success of his influence. In Of Boldness he wrote, "If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill", which is the earliest known appearance of the well-known proverb in print. The phrase "hostages to fortune" makes its first appearance in the essay Of Marriage and Single Life as well. Aldous Huxley’s book Jesting Pilate took its epigraph, "What is Truth?” from Bacon's essay Of Truth and the 1999 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations includes no fewer than 91 quotations from The Essays. Bacon’s influence is undeniable which makes The Essays a must-read for those searching for context for popular ways of thinking.
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The Essays, or Counsels, Civil and Moral, of Sir Francis Bacon was the first published work by the jurist, philosopher, and statesman Sir Francis Bacon. Published in 1597, The Essays are written in a wide range of styles and cover topics drawn from both private and public life. Bacon approaches topics systematically, often discussing them from a variety of angles and weighing one argument against another.
Bacon was recognized as a scholar, wit, lawyer and statesman, as he wrote widely on politics, philosophy and science. Bacon declared early in his career that 'I have taken all knowledge as my province'. In this, he created The Essays to explore a diverse range of subjects, including death and marriage, ambition and atheism, in prose serves as a vibrant source of Renaissance learning.
While the original edition contained 10 separate essays, a larger work containing 58 essays was published in 1625. Translations of the work into both French and Italian took place during Bacon’s lifetime.
In his collection of essays, Bacon delves into a variety of topics, using inductive reasoning to find truth based on observations of the world. His application of inductive reasoning to scientific and philosophical pursuits was a breakthrough in the history of human knowledge. The Essays feature Bacon’s commentary on some of society’s most influential topics such as religion, death, beauty, friendship, and anger. Many of his writings, The Essays included, explore how to use his methods for further philosophical inquiry. As a man of religion, Bacon was careful to distinguish between reason-based philosophy and faith-based revelation, considering both essential to human thought.
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