- Instauratio magna. Multi petrasibunt & augebitur scientia. : Londini, Apud J. Billium, 1620.
- The Instauratio Magna: Part II Novum Organum. The Oxford Francis Bacon, Vol. 11: The Instauratio magna Part II: Novum organum and Associated Texts. Edited by Graham Rees and Maria Wakely. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2000.
- The New Organon. Edited by L. Jardine & M. Silverthorne. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2000.
INSTAURATIO MAGNA: The Great Renewal
It is certainly quite new; a totally new kind of thing; though drawn from a very old model, namely the world itself, and the nature of things and of the mind. Certainly I myself (I frankly confess) am accustomed to regard this work as a birth of time rather than of intelligence.
So that at last, after so many ages of the world, philosophy and the sciences may no longer float in the air, but rest upon the solid foundations of every kind of experience properly considered. I have supplied the Instrument; but the material must be sought in things themselves.
Men seem to me to have no good sense of either their resources or their power; but to exaggerate the former and underrate the latter. Hence, either they put an insane value on the arts which they already have and look no further or, undervaluing themselves, they waste their power on trifles and fail to try it out on things which go to the heart of the matter. And so they are like fatal pillars of Hercules to the sciences; for they are not stirred by the desire or the hope of going further.
The Plan of the Work
- Prima; Partitiones Scientiarum / The Divisions of the Sciences
- Secunda; Novum Organum, sive Indicia de Interpretatione Naturae / The New Organon, or Directions for the Interpretation of Nature.
- Tertia; Phaenomena Universi, sive Historia Naturalis et Experimentalis ad condendam Philosophiam / Phenomena of the Universe, or A Natural and Experimental History towards the foundation of Philosophy
- Quarta; Scala Intellectus / The Ladder of the Intellect
- Quinta; Prodromi, siveAnticipationes Philosophiae Secundae / Forerunners, or Anticipations of Second Philosophy
- Sexta; Philosophia Secunda, siveScientia Activa / Second Philosophy, or Practical Science
PARS SECUNDA OPERIS, QUAE DICITUR NOVUM ORGANUM, SIVE, INDICIA VERA DE INTERPRETATIONE NATURAE
I. Homo, naturae minister et interpres, tantum facit et intelligit quantum de naturae ordine re vel mente observaverit: nec amplius scit, aut potest
Man is Nature’s agent and interpreter; he does and understands only as much as he has observed of the order of nature in fact or by inference; he does not know and cannot do more.
II. Nec manus nuda, nec intellectus sibi permissus, multum valet; instrumentis et auxiliis res perficitur; quibus opus est, non minus ad intellectum, quam ad manum.
Atque ut instrumenta manus motum aut cient aut regunt; ita et instrumenta mentis intellectui aut suggerunt aut cavent.
Neither the bare hand nor the unaided intellect has much power; the work is done by tools and assistance, and the intellect needs them as much as the hand.
As the hand’s tools either prompt or guide its motions, so the mind’s tools either prompt or warn the intellect.
III. Scientia et potentia humana in idem coincidunt, quia ignoratio causae destituit effectum.
Natura enim non nisi parendo vincitur: et quod in contemplatione instar causae est, id in operatione instar regulae est.
Human knowledge and human power come to the same thing, because ignorance of cause frustrates effect.
For Nature is conquered only by obedience; and that which in thought is a cause, is like a rule in practice.
IDOLORUM / IDOLS
XXIX. Quatuor sunt genera idolorum, quae mentes humanas obsident. Iis (docendi gratia) nomina imposuimus; ut primum genus, idola tribus; secundum, idola specus; tertium, idola fori; quartum, idola theatri,vocentur.
There are four kinds of illusions/idols which block men’s minds. For instruction’s sake, we have given them the following names: the first kind are called idols of the tribe; the second idols of the cave; the third idols of the marketplace; The fourth idols of the theatre.
XL. Excitatio notionum et axiomatum per inductionem veram est certe proprium remedium ad idola arcenda et summovenda; sed tamen indicatio idolorum magni est usus.
Doctrina enim de idolis similiter se habet ad interpretationem naturae, sicut doctrina de sophisticis elenchis ad dialecticam vulgarem.
Formation of notions and axioms by means of true induction is certainly an appropriate way to banish idols and get rid of them; but it is also very useful to identify the idols.
Instruction about idols has the same relation to the interpretation of nature as teaching the sophistic refutations has to ordinary logic.
Liber Secundus : APHORISMORUM, DE INTERPRETATIONE NATURAE, SIVE DE REGNO HOMINIS.