THE PROBLEM OF ESOTERICISM IN BACON’S SCIENCE
PROBLEMA EZOTERISMULUI ÎN ŞTIINŢA BACONIANĂ
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Bucharest, Romania
Francis Bacon is commonly regarded as someone who shifted arcane knowledge into the public domain (and dispelled the aura of secrecy that surrounded the gestating ‘Baconian sciences’, to use Kuhn’s term) – a general movement of the seventeenth century in which he plays an important part. He contributed thus to our present image of science as an open, public enterprise. By focusing on the ‘New Atlantis’, as well as on other texts, I try to show that Bacon’s science is still esoteric, while esotericism is not to be understood as some form of obscurantism, but as having a positive function, namely the protection against the dangers that the advancement of knowledge (power) implies. Esotericism appears to be somehow inescapable even to modern science; the motivations behind it are involuntary as well as voluntary, a double aspect that I will try to point out in Bacon as well.
Key words: history and philosophy of science; Francis Bacon; Baconian science; esotericism.
Cuvinte cheie: istoria şi filosofia ştiinţei; Francis Bacon; ştiinţa baconiană; ezoterism.