The Works of Francis Bacon
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 156 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: PREFACE TOPICA INQUISITIONIS DE LUCE ET LUMINE. The following paper of directions for an experimental inquiry concerning Light was first published by Gruter in 1653, among the pieces which he entitles Impetus Philosophici; afterwards (from another copy) by Dr. Rawley in 1658; and since a work with the same title is mentioned in Rawley's list of Bacon's later writings, where it stands last but one,1 I presume that this is it, and that it was meant to be preserved. If so, this is its proper place. In my preface to the Parasceve, I have noticed Bacon's intention to draw up, with reference to the Natural and Experimental History which was to be the basis of the new philosophy, certain heads of inquiry showing what points in each subject were more particularly to be observed; and I have pointed out the importance of this part of his scheme, as bearing upon the question whether it were possible or not to procure a collection of the facts of nature in the manner he proposed. One example of the thing we have 1 See Vol. L p. 46. Mr. Ellis however infers from the allusion (infra, p. 135.) to ipecula prrspectica, that this tract must bave been written before 1612. See his note. ?J. S. already seen, in the Topica Particularis sive Artieuli Inquisitionis de Gravi et Leri, given in the fifth book of the De Augmentis. This is another; and though it does not profess to contain more than a few instance by way of example, it serves to show how he proposed to set about the work. If the enclosure transmitted in his letter to Father Baranzan, which related to a history of Comets (de qua confidenda ecce tibi articuJos quosdam et quasi topica particularia), had been preserved, it would have supplied us with a third. It may be thought strange perhaps that he did no more during the last...
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