Scientific Knowledge

A philosopher and an advocate of modern science, Sir Francis Bacon, suggests a system that would replace the obsolete thinking or method of making judgments based on ones anticipations into one of practical knowledge to be beneficial to human kind in making out various issues around them. In the article Novum Organum, the writer acts as an intellectual reformer aiming at ensuring all human beings come to a clear understanding of nature. He adds that human kind would be denied an opportunity to have a proper understanding of nature if they solely depend on anticipations which the author term them as unquantifiable besides resulting to non uniformity in such understanding.
As if this is not enough, anticipations are quite easy and do not require ample time in coming to a concrete decision or a judgment concerning a particular issue. Indeed, they bring about prejudgments in most issues. To crown it all, anticipations only require looking into a few instances and thereby making a judgment regarding such issues without any form of analysis. This traditional way, aims at satisfying human imaginations and thinking with regards to the issue. However, the author indicates that this form of knowledge is contrary to modern science which requires designed steps in making any form of decision. He adds that scientific knowledge requires time to observe an instance in different ways, making an analysis and there after making the judgment thereby enhancing the difficulty of such form of knowledge.
However, the author does not rule out the fact that some sciences still admits that anticipations can be used as a useful tool for establishing knowledge. The author is not deceptive on such science but generally indicates that is far more disturbing to use such tools in enabling any progress in science. Further, he admits the fact that anticipation has been used over many years until to date and that science cannot be the only tool to come up with the correct judgment in establishing truth about human nature.
Besides, he notes that in an effort to transform the society into his own way of thinking, there are so many obstacles to such transformations. He refers to such defects as idols although the writer of this paper strongly believes that scientific knowledge on human understanding would probably be one of the philosopher’s idols. The author outlines classifies such tendencies into four distinct groups: The idol of tribe, the idol of the den, the idol of the market and the idol of the theater.
The idol of tribe refers to defects that are natural and very common and identical across most societies of human nature. He notes that such a defect cannot be ruled out in totality from human kind. To add on to this, he indicates that the idol comprises of the human senses which cannot be easily changed under possible effort, the tendencies to wish that things worked as per our own thinking as well as making conclusions based on premature judgments.
Secondly, the idols of the den which are not similar to the first defects as highlighted above. In contrast, the defects vary from one person to the other. Such tendencies are not brought about by nature as for the case with the first defect. In fact; they result from individual’s beliefs and norms depending on the families they come from. According to the author, these idols may be composed of certain tendencies from one individual to the other. This may vary from individuals’ tendencies to identify themselves with a particular area of study, certain groups in the government to tendencies limiting themselves to one area of study and indicating that they are the specialists in such fields.
Thirdly are the idols of the market which result from the interaction among persons in the community. The author notes that these kinds of idols are brought about by language use by people in the society. Further, he adds that various words used by the members of the society have different meaning from the layman’s understanding of the same. In addition, he notes that some of the nouns used may refer to living or non living things but then portray different meaning depending on the situation at hand.
Lastly it talks about the idols of the theatre which are similar to those of the den. However, these idols are based on the culture of the individuals rather than the individuals themselves. The author further adds that these idols are mainly based on certain pillars of philosophy.
The author notes that human beings are quite unique in a manner that they prefer issues that are conspicuous which are readily absorbed by the mind. They do not like issues that are tiresome to the brain. Later on, if a similar instance occurs, the human beings try as much possible to relate such an incidence with the previous one without due emphasis on the circumstances under which such instances might have occurred. Human beings, in most incidences rule out the fact the incidences could be similar or even identical but then in different circumstances and even in different places.
However, human understanding may be affected by certain factors. In the first place, the author indicates that human mind captures exciting tangible things or maybe occurrences that they can see and even touch. In such incidences, it may mean that human beings will not have an understanding on anything intangible. For such cases the author indicates that it is advisable to use both scientific knowledge through experiments and allow the human mind through senses to judge on the outcomes.
In conclusion, the writer of this article appreciates Bacon’s view on the use of scientific tools in making judgments. On the other hand, he appreciates other philosophers who advocates for use of anticipation in decision making. However, the writer strongly feels that both the traditional tools and scientific tools are far more appropriate to use in an effort to establish a proper understanding of nature.


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