Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Essay: "Of Studies." Francis Bacon.

Main Points:

What are the purposes of study? Delight, ornament and ability. Delight: privateness and retiring. Ornament: discourse by interaction. Ability: sharpen judgment.

What’s wrong with studies? Too much is sloth. Too much for ornament is affectation. Judgment only from studies is the humor of a scholar (not the real world?).

Studies perfect nature. Studies are perfected by experience.

Crafty men condemn studies. Simple men admire them. Wise men use them.

Read to weigh and consider, not to criticize.

Some books are to be tasted or read only in parts; others to be read rapidly; some few to be read wholly, with diligence and attention.

Reading makes a full man, discussion a ready man and writing an exact man.

Every defect of the mind can be corrected by studying for the purpose, i.e., lack of concentration by studying mathematics.

Comment: Bacon writes succinctly and concisely. He does not provide a lot of explanation for his points. RayS.

Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Pocket Books, Inc. 1954.

What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.

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