I intend to cover this topic in my term paper for my class "Bacon and the Mastery of Nature." I would like to know what you all think...

It is granted by some that a speculative science takes part of its formality from the form of its object. Whence only if the object so known lends itself also to the use of practical reason can a speculative science inform a practical science. I take that an example of such an amenable speculative science would be the science of the human body. One not so disposed is metaphysics. However, if on the other hand the practical ends of reason begin to inform the way in which the formal object of a speculative science is taken up, it seems that one runs the risk of creating a mutant or crippled theoria. The physicist may discover not how nature is, but rather, for instance, how it is usable or alterable. Granted, if it is usable that must also be in some way how it is, but such is not necessarily all of its essence. The full picture may be, and arguable must be, missing.

Therefore the question is: granting that Francis Bacon wants to establish (in the New Organon) a science of nature that is ordered to the practical, in what way does it give an account for its object? What is its formal unity, if it has one?

Tentative thesis: The "new" physics Bacon proposes makes a very appropriate assumption in turning to "laws of nature" as its object, in order to address the various aspects (scientific objects) of nature in motion; for by understanding these processes (or apprehending their "behavior" by discerning the law they obey in action) men can more easily utilize these behavioral motions to achieve practical ends.

Another reason, at first glance, seems to be the fact that the object of such a new science would not be viewed insofar as it is speculatively true (i.e. knowable for its own sake and eternal or unchangeable), and this because of the introduced practical aspect to the science (for men would know for the sake of their ends, which a changeable, and need to involve changeable things). The eternal and unchangeable principles of mobile being, and their dependence upon a first cause, cannot be changed by men; however, the "law" according to which powers or habits of the soul, or of chemicals, "behave" seem to unlock certain inter-dependent relationships that can be played off one another to further benefit.

One of the difficulties is the fact that such laws, insofar as they are "not changeable," seem to have a speculative character to them. Can this be overcome by the fact that followers of the new physics apply these laws not to substance ("The Law of Being, That It Cannot Not Be") but to accidental qualities. It seems that it is for lesser qualities such as sweet tastes, or pleasures, or health of body, that these laws are sought.

I thank you all for your indulgence.

"Mastered by Nature, man overcomes by Art."
--Antiphon, (quoted by Aristotle in the beginning of his treatise on mechanical problems.)


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