From natural history to early modern science: the case of Bacon's “histories”

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Dana Jalobeanu


Francis Bacon’s natural history has been a longstanding subject of debate among the historians of early modern philosophy. Both his claim that science (i.e. natural philosophy) should be build on natural histories and the very nature of the latter have been the subject of heated debates. Recently, no less than three different contextual interpretations have been put forward by Graham Rees, Paula Findlend and Deborah Harkness. They all address the question of the specificity of Bacon’s natural history in the context of Renaissance natural history, characterizing in different manners Bacon’s transformation and appropriation of the natural historical tradition (or discipline). In my paper I address the same issue from less contextual perspective. I try to make sense of Bacon’s natural histories as the ultimate product of Bacon’s research programme. I claim that, for Bacon, natural history has a complex theoretical structure, an associated methodology and a set of norms and values associated with the professional study of nature.

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JALOBEANU, Dana. From natural history to early modern science: the case of Bacon's “histories”. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series, [S.l.], v. 59, n. 1, apr. 2015. ISSN 0068-3175. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2019.