Disciplining Experience: Francis Bacon’s Experimental Series and the Art of Experimenting

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Perspectives on Science, ISSN: 1063-6145, Vol: 24, Issue: 3, Page: 324-342

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Jalobeanu, Dana
MIT Press - Journals
Multidisciplinary; Arts and Humanities
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article description
This article is an investigation into the rationale and the structure of order of Francis Bacon’s natural and experimental histories. My aim is to show that these natural histories are mainly composed of experimental series, i.e. methodologically organized recordings of experimental inquiries. Bacon’s experimental series have a double purpose: heuristic and pedagogical. They direct and encode the “good” experimental practices, while also teaching the neophyte how to become a Baconian experimenter. In this article, I discuss the key elements of Bacon’s methodology of experimentation which play an essential role in the generation of experimental series.