utilitarian approach in bacon essays

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Utilitarian approach in bacon essays how to write sops with example

Utilitarian approach in bacon essays

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Ask Question. Log in. Philosophy and Philosophers. Best Answer. Francis Bacon: Worldly Wisdom Bacon was, definitely, a worldly wise man. In his essay "Of Truth", Bacon appreciates truth and wishes people to speak the truth. He says: "A lie faces God and shrinks from man. He says: "A lie doth ever add pleasure. And "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. In the essay "Of Revenge" Bacon shows a certain high morality by saying that: "Revenge is a kind of wild justice; One who studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green.

He says: "Those that want friends to open themselves unto, are cannibals of their own hearts. Bacon considers love as a 'child of folly'. In his essay "Of Love" he says: "It is impossible to love and to be wise. He says: "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune. Q: Francis Bacon is a utilitarian discuss with reference to the chapter of studies in words? Write your answer Related Questions.

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What is the significance of the the title beast in the water? Will bankruptcy trustee take pain and suffering settlement? Trending Questions. Still have questions? Find more answers. Hottest Questions. How many signers of the Declaration of Independence became president? Previously Viewed. Francis Bacon is a utilitarian discuss with reference to the chapter of studies in words?

Unanswered Questions. What is the foundation of social conduct according to AG Gardiner in story the rule of the road? The old welding machines used electromagnetic winding to step up the current for welding rods. What is the new principle inside the welding machines? Bacons essays are replete with wisdom of this kind. He teaches us the art of how to get on in this world, how to become rich and prosperous, how to rise to high positions, how to exercise ones authority and power so as to attain good results, how to gain influence, etc.

It is true that Bacon is a philosopher and a moralist, but it has rightly been pointed out by critics that, in his essays as in his own career, he treated philosophy and morality as being subordinate to worldly success. It is for this reason that the wisdom of his essays is of a somewhat cynical kind.

It is significant that he described this essays as Counsels, civil and moral, which means that he intended his essays to provide such guidance to his readers as could help them in attaining success in civil life while at the same time observing certain basic moral laws. Bacon is clearly seen in his essays both as a philosopher and as a moralist.

A philosopher is, broadly speaking, a person who is deeply interested in the pursuit of truth, while a moralist is a person who teaches human beings the distinction between what is right and what is wrong and urges them to tread the right path only.

Bacon appears in this dual role in many of the essays that he has written. In the essay, Of. Truth, Bacon says that truth is the supreme good for human beings. He describes the inquiry of truth as the wooing of it, the knowledge of truth as the presence of it, and the belief of truth as the enjoying of it. Making an obvious reference to the Bible, Bacon says that the first thing created by God was light and the final thing created by Him was the rational faculty which He bestowed upon man.

First God breathed light upon matter or chaos; then He breathed light into the face of man; and afterwards He has always been breathing light into the faces of those whom He chooses for His special favour. Bacon quotes Lucretius who said that the greatest pleasure for a man was the realization of truth and that, standing upon the vantage ground of truth, a man could survey the errors, falsehoods, and follies prevailing in the world.

All these, we might say, are the observations of a philosopher-cum-moralist. Bacons object in writing this essay is manifestly to instill into the minds of his readers a love of truth. A mans mind, says he, should turn upon the poles of truth. Falsehood brings nothing but disgrace. Quoting Montaigne, he says that, in telling a lie, a man is brave towards God but a toward towards his fellow-men. He warns human beings against the punishment which will descend upon them on the doomsday for the falsehoods which they indulge in or practice.

The essay, Of Great Place, contains a large number of moral precepts but these moral precepts, be it noted, are synonymous with worldly wisdom. In seeking power, says Bacon, a man loses his liberty. Men in high positions, he observes rightly, derive much of their happiness only from hearing that other people envy them for the positions they are holding. Like a true moralist, he writes: In place there is licence to do good and evil, whereof the latter is a curse; for in evil, the best condition is not to well, the second not.

The whole purpose of a mans efforts should, according to Bacon, be meritorious works. Noble performance, he points out, raises a man almost to the status of God. Bacon also warns men of authority against the vices which are likely to beset them. There is plenty of worldly wisdom in the guidelines of conduct which he lays down for men in high positions. No man in a high position will come a cropper if he follows the advice offered by Bacon.

But Bacon teaches no moral idealism and no ideal morality. In fact he is willing to come to terms with morality for the sake of worldly success. For instance, he clearly admits that a man may have to adopt objectionable methods in order to attain a position of high authority. He also approves of a mans joining a group or a faction in order to enhance his worldly prospects though he suggests that, after a man has achieved the desired end, he should become neutral.

This is how he writes in this connection. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a mans self whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. Even when Bacon urges a high official not to speak ill of his predecessor, he does so not in the interests of high morality but because there will be unpleasant consequences for the man who does not follow this advice. In other words, Bacon tries to bring about a compromise between morality and the demands of worldly success.

The essay, Of Friendship, is the work of a pure utilitarian. Bacon does not speak of friendship in terms of an emotional bond intimately linking two persons. He makes a purely worldly approach to the subject. He gives us the uses of friendship. A friend enables us to give an outlet to our suppressed discontents. A friend clarifies our understanding.

The advice given by a friend is most reliable. A friend can speak or act on our behalf in situations in which we ourselves cannot speak or act. There is no idealism. Bacon seems to suggest that we need friends only for our worldly happiness and worldly good. To put it more bluntly, he regards pure selfishness as the basis of friendship. This is an essay that clearly shows that Bacons wisdom is of a cynical kind, and that his morality is determined by purely utilitarian considerations.

He does not speak of the emotional or moral aspect of friendship at all. Bacon makes a utilitarian approach even to studies. In his essay on this subject he speaks of the pleasure of studying only to forget it. Nor does he emphasise learning for its own sake. He wants studies to be supplemented by practical experience so that a man may make the best use of both to attain worldly success. Wise men, according to him, are those who put their studies to practical use.

He even recommends the study of books by deputy and extracts being made of books by others, though he recommends this practice in the case of only the meaner books. He also points out that different branches of study have different effects on the human mind and speaks of curing different mental defects by means of an appropriate choice of studies. Bacon here becomes almost ridiculous by his reducing the whole thing to a scientific formula as if a man whose wits are wandering could really achieve powers of concentration by being made to study really achieve powers of concentration by being made to study mathematics.

Bacon forgets that everybody does not have an. But it is Bacon the man of the world who speaks here, not the true scholar that he really was. He allows his scholarship and his philosophy to be pushed into the background by his worldly enthusiasm. In the essay, Of Marriage and Single Life, Bacons wisdom, again, is not of the profound or philosophical variety; it is worldly wisdom, and much of this wisdom is cynical. The very opening sentence of this essay is cynical because Bacon here expresses the view that a married man with children cannot undertake great enterprises: He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune.

And he goes on to say, what is certainly not true, that the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men. As in the case of friendship, Bacon forgets the emotional element, and in this case also the passionate element which generally enters into marriage. What could be more utilitarian than the remark that a wife is a mistress when the husband is young, that she is a companion when he enters middle age, and that she is a nurse when he grows old?

He wants soldiers to be married because then they will fight better! He thinks that by getting married a dishonest judge will become honest! However, it is the essay, Of Suitors, that completely exposes Bacon. He certainly indulges in a lot of moralising here.

For instance, he disapproves of person who undertake suits without any real intention to have them granted; he disapproves of a man giving false hopes to a petitioner whose suit he has undertaken; and so on. But he comes to terms with morality when he suggests that if a patron wants to favour the undeserving of the two parties in a legal case, he should bring about a compromise between the two parties instead of pronouncing the judgment in favour of the deserving person. Bacon here does not categorically reject, the case of the undeserving person; on the contrary, he wants the undeserving person to be accommodated.

Again, he goes on to say that if a patron wants to appoint a less deserving candidate to a post, he shou ld do so without passing adverse remarks against the character of the more deserving. Here is a great moralist willingly condoning a patrons action in appointing a less deserving candidate to a post which lies in his patronage! Elaborate with reference to his essays. A critic rightly points out that Hooker and Bacon did really great thing for the development of English prose. When alliteration, antithesis, similes from unnatural natural history were rampant, these two men showed that English was as capable as the classics of serving the highest purposes of language.

They showed that it was possible in English also to express the subtleties of thought in clear, straightforward, and uninvolved sentences and, when necessary, to condense the greatest amount of meaning into the fewest possible words. Bacon shows himself in his essays to be a consummate rhetorician. He made for himself a style which, though not quite flexible and modern, was unmatchable for pith and pregnancy in the conveyance of his special kind of thought. When the bulk of English prose was written in loose sentences of enormous length, he supplied at once a short, crisp and firmly knit sentence of a type unfamiliar in English.

He rejected the conceits and overcrowded imagery of the euphuists, but he knew how to light up his thought with well-placed figures, and give to it an imaginative glow and charm upon occasion, contrasting strongly with the unfigurative style of Ben Jonson who represents in his prose the extreme revulsion from euphuism.

They shock sluggish attention into wakefulness as if by an electric contact, and though they may sometimes fail to nourish, they can never fail to stimulate. Emerson is the one modern writer with whom Bacon may be fairly compared, for their method is much the same. In each case, we have a series of trenchant and apparently disconnected sayings, where the writer tries to reach the readers mind by a series of aphoristic attacks. Comparing Bacon with his predecessors Sidney, Lyly, Ascham , it will be seen how widely he departs from the prolix methods of the day.

In rhetorical power, musical cadence, quaint1-turns of speech, he is equalled by many of his contemporaries, excelled by a few: but for a clear, terse, easy writing, he has no peer save Ben Jonson, and even today his essays are models of succinct, lucid prose. This is how an eminent English critic speaks about Bacons contribution to the development of English prose: Bacon took, one of the longest steps ever taken in the evolution of English prose style.

English prose was already rich and sonorous. So does Raleigh. But while these writers have majesty and strength, it cannot be said that they were masters of a style suited to all the purposes which prose must subserve. It was admirable for great themes and for moments of elevation, but ill-adapted to the pedestrian passages which must link such themes and moments one to another. The sentences were inconveniently long, and even in the hands of the most skilful writers were frequently involved and obscure.

Parentheses were extremely common. The same is true of Bacon himself in his larger and more sustained works. But in the essays he did set the example, he did furnish the model. By the very plan and conception, almost of necessity, the sentences had to be short. With shortness came lucidity. The essays of Bacon have to be read slowly and thoughtfully, not because the style is obscure, but because they are extremely condensed. The grammatical structure is sometimes loose, but it is rarely ambiguous.

With shortness came also flexibility. The new style of Bacon fitted itself as easily to buildings and gardens, or to suitors and ceremonies, as to truth and death. It could be sunk to the familiarity of likening money to muck, not good unless it be spread, or rise to a comparison between movements of the human mind and the movements of the heavenly bodies. To Bacon, in short, we are largely indebted for making good that which had hitherto been the chief defect of English literature.

Till the closing years of the sixteenth century except in translations, no one had shown a mastery of the principles of prose. Then Bacon showed such mastery, and Shakespeare in even higher degree than Bacon. Terseness of expression and epigrammatic brevity are the most striking qualities of Bacons style in the essays. Bacon possessed a marvellous power of compressing into a few words an idea with ordinary writers would express in several sentences.

Many of his sentences have an aphoristic quality. They are like proverbs which can readily be quoted when the occasion demands. Only Bacon could have written the following sentences which are remarkable for their condensation and brevity: He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune.

Of Marriage and Single Life For in evil, the best condition is not to will, the second not to can. Of Great Place Those that want friends to open themselves unto are cannibals of their hearts. Of Friendship Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. Of Studies A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Of Truth His aphoristic style makes Bacon an essayist of high distinction.

Bacon achieves this terseness of style often by avoiding superfluous words and by omitting the ordinary joints and sinews of speech. Occasionally, it must be admitted, Bacon even becomes obscure because of extreme condensation but, as a rule, his brevity is matched only by his lucidity and clearness. Another important quality of Bacons style is his recurrent use of figurative language.

In the essay, Of Truth, for-instance, he gives us very vivid and apt similes and metaphors in order to illustrate his ideas. He compares truth to a naked open daylight which does not show the masques and mummeries and triumphs of the world as half so grand and.

He compares falsehood to an alloy in a coin of gold or silver. The alloy makes the metal work the better, but it lowers the value of the metal. Here is another excellent example of Bacons figurative style: Certainly it is heaven upon earth to have a mans mind move in charity, rest in Providence, and turn upon the poles of truth. In the essay, Of Marriage and Single Life, he tells us that some men so exaggerate the value of freedom that they will go near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles.

He also aptly states the case against a clergymans marrying: For charity will hardly water the ground where it must first fill a pool. Those that want friends to open themselves. In fact these two sentences illustrate at once his aphoristic style and his use of figurative language.

There are some more similes and metaphors in this essay. For instance: the world is a wilderness without true friends; advice from a person who is not fully acquainted with our minds and circumstances is like the prescription of a physician who is not well-acquainted with our bodies; the last fruit of friendship is like the pomegranate, full of many kernels; a friend is like the philosophers stone that worketh all contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature.

In the essay, Of Studies, he gives us a very appropriate simile when he compares distilled books to common distilled waters. The essays of Bacon are full of illustrations, allusions, and quotations, some of these quotations being from Latin sources. These allusions and quotations show Bacons love of learning.

In the essay, Of Truth, we have allusions to Pilate, Lucian. Lucretius, and Montaigne with quotations from the last two. He also gives us a quotation from the Bible in this essay. These allusions and quotations enrich this essay and make it more interesting. The essay, Of Friendship, contains a large number of allusions which illustrate Bacons argument that even great men, who haye strong and firm minds, need friends to whom they can open their hearts.

There are a number of allusions to philosophers also in the same essay. His love of quotations too is also seen here. He quotes Aristotle, Cominius, Themistocles, Heraclitus. Indeed, allusions and quotations seem to be at his fingers tips.

These allusions and quotations lend to his ideas greater weight and serve to make his style more scholarly. Bacons style is most remarkable for its terseness. He can say the most in the fewest words. This essay deals with some of the uses of study, and offers some sound ideas relating to this theme. The uses of studies are classified by Bacon under three heads the use of studies for delight; the use of studies for ornament; and the use of studies for ability. Bacon also gives us some excellent advice as to why and how one should read.

Furthermore, he tells us that different studies have different effects on the human mind.


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The beginning of the essay is colored by didacticism. According to Bacon spending too much time in study is lethargic. Ability and judgment help the perfection of nature that is more perfected by experience. Bacon suggests being smart by studying in several ways. Bacon depicts the different types of reading different books.

Refinement and Ethical Development of Man: Though unmarried men are good to be friends and masters but they are not law abiding people. Description of Negative Topics: Bacon has always discussed negative topics in elaborative manner. Of Simulation and Dissimulation is the proof in this regard. It is because that he wants to alert the readers. He says that the weak man follows the practice of dissimulation. They lack the power to tell the truth as the situation demands but strong minds and hearts can have such power.

And the third, simulation, in the affirmative; when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be, that he is not. The study of a particular subject may help to remove a particular defect. History can increase our wisdom; poetry makes us more intelligent and sensitive. Mathematics makes us acute in thinking. Moral philosophy helps to be more serious and deep.

Logic makes us reasonable and rhetoric helps to have a good command over the language. And Bacon suggests guarding against this folly. Bacon most probably deals with the worldly love. Love has provided material for comic plays and sometimes for tragedies.

There is all the more reason to be careful to avoid love which can lead not merely to the loss of other things but to the loss of its very object that is the kindness and fondle ness of beloved. He says that love brings exaggeration; it deprives a man of wisdom. For example, Paris had chosen Helen and lost his wisdom and empire. He says that little learning is a dangerous thing. He who denies a God becomes the kin member of the beasts. On the contrary, the people who admit the existence of God become human being indeed.

If a man becomes an atheist, he is considered as an ignoble creature. Suggestion for health: In the essay of Regimen of Health, Bacon suggests two ways for being well. He gives two different remedies for the body and the mind. Pardon prefers to revenge: Bacon here dislikes the act of taking revenge.

Wise men forgive their enemies because the habit of taking revenge makes one evil or a devil. Pardoners have the moral superiority. Again revenge is acceptable due to failure of accomplishing law. But in this way the avenger must be careful to take revenge, otherwise, he will be faulty for violating existing laws and the enemy may get advantage over him. April 13, He makes antithetical comment to impose an influence upon the people.

He who requites violence for violence, sins against the law but not against the man. The more natural revenge is the more need to restrain it. They increase the care of life but they mitigate the remembrance of death. This sort of weighing and balancing makes his style antithetical. We ignore the unnecessary conceits and over crowded imagery of the enthusiast; but he knew, how to high up his thought with well-placed figures and give to it an imaginative glow and charm when required.

Bacon set up a new method of prose writing, which was at once easy, simple, graceful, rhetorical, musical and condensed. Guilty persons suffer only the pressure of revenge but avengers suffer in two ways- once from the wrong and secondly from the punishment imposed by law for his revenge. He is always under mental torment. He can not forgive his enemy thus becomes unwise, hostile. Truth, according to Bacon, lacks the charm of variety which, falsehood has. Truth gives more pleasure only when a lie is added to it.

He believes that, falsehood is a source of temporary enjoyment as it gives the people a strange kind of pleasure. So the essayist says: " To Bacon, a liar is towards god but cowards towards men. A liar is not brave enough to tell the truth before people but he shows courage to tell a lie disobeying god as the Bacon comments: "For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.

This is indeed a paradox. It means that a man does not fear God when he tells a lie. Bacon suggests that the books should be read according to their importance. There are some books which are read only for pleasure, a number of books are to be memorized but a few books are to be read deeply with hard work and concentration. The author says: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. He considers it just one of many passions of human mind.

He does not pay extra favor to it emotionally; rather he sees love as a "child of folly" in his essay Of Love. As he comments: "Nuptial love maketh man kind; friendly love perfecteth it, but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it. As he says: "Children sweeten labour, but they make misfortune more bitter. In his own words: "Wives are young men's mistress; companions for middle age, and old men's nurses. He must give the assurance of their security in a responsive manner.

Thus a married man is always busy for the betterment of his family. He can not even take any risk to change his fate for future. An unmarried priest helps his poor and needy parishioners up to his level best. But a married priest can not do these because of giving first priority to satisfy his family. As he says in of Marriage and Single Life: "He that hath wife and children hath given hostage of fortune".

His lines reflect the utilitarianism of the topic very vividly. For this, he often uses his own themes and motifs as his individual styles. This feature makes him incomparable in the prominence of day-to-day topics in his presentation which is the main aim to find out in this research study. Bacon is above all writers, at least above all modern essayists, the man of human nature, the author that holds up to the multitude the mirror of manners and of life.

He was the torchbearer of using didactics in the essays. His aesthetic and moral values are completely praiseworthy that have enough influence upon the modern people. His emphasis on the human nature makes him an author of all ages. Last of all, we can say that, Bacon is very exact to his views and thoughts.

And with this knowledge out his approach to inquiry and knowledge. Albans was an English. Macaulay in a lengthy essay declared Bacon a great intellect but borrowing a.. Bacon's Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral enlarged; rpt. In Bentham's naturalistic approach , pleasures that last longer rate a higher. Undoubtedly he values friendship highly. His chief motive is to gather. Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, Francis Bacon , and.

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