The becoming of the experimental mode

Astrid Schwarz
2012 Scientiae Studia  
Francis Bacon's experimental philosophy is discussed, and the way in which it not only shapes scientific methodology but also deeply pervades all philosophical and social learning. Bacon draws us in to participate in an experiment with experience. The central driving force is the idea that learning how to learn is necessary in order to know. To meet this requirement, he considers the relation of form and content of pivotal importance, and therefore the selection of the literary form and the
more » ... of data inscription is decisive in the construction of a heuristic tool. His inductive method serves a dual purpose: first, the socalled indicative form aims at securing knowledge by a comprehensible procedure that controls and guides hypothetical thinking. Second, the literary forms "fragment" and "aphorism" embody the subjunctive, and invite intellectual openness and even speculation. In this article, special emphasis is put on Bacon's use and justification of the aphorism. Bacon's pervasive experimentalism meets in some sense today's broad adoption of the experimental mode. His philosophy calls for an ontology that is also at work in recent notions of co-action and co-working, or of affordance.
doi:10.1590/s1678-31662012000500004 fatcat:tmm354r2hjcovaeoidqselayyu