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Georgics of the mind and the architecture of fortune: Francis Bacon's therapeutic ethics

Version 2 2024-06-13, 08:42
Version 1 2014-10-28, 10:27
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 08:42 authored by M Sharpe
This essay complements recent work by Soreana Corneanu situating Bacon’s epistemology in a larger lineage of literature concerning ‘cultura animi’ in early modern Europe, by focusing on Bacon’s conception of a therapeutic philosophical ‘Georgics of the mind’ in The Advancement of Learning, the Essays, and other texts. We aim to show firstly (in Part 2) how Bacon’s conception of human nature, and the importance of habit and custom, reflects the ancient pagan thinkers’ justifications of philosophical therapeutics. Attention will also be paid in this connection to Bacon’s sensitivity to another marker of ancient therapeutic philosophy as Pierre Hadot in particular has recently presented it: the proliferation of different rhetorical and literary forms aiming at different pedagogic, therapeutic, and psychogogic aims. Part 3 then will examine Bacon’s changes in practical or ‘magistral’ philosophy, carried out on the therapeutic ethical grounds which Part 2 has examined, but proposing a much more active ‘architecture of fortune’ to philosophical and political aspirants.

History

Journal

Philosophical Papers

Volume

43

Pagination

89-121

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0556-8641

eISSN

1996-8523

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Taylor & Francis

Issue

1

Publisher

Routledge