Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works

An Scholarly Analysis of A Scholar's Analysis College

Every day we encounter bodies of text. Whether it be in articles in the daily newspaper or updated blogs from our favorite person on the internet we are surrounded by words and sentences. With each body of text we grow and broaden our capacity of thinking. Things are written with purpose and when we read them we gain the perspective of what has been bothering the author. But the question is, how do we take what we read and use it to come out of it a more knowledgeable and learned person? It is not enough to merely read what is presented before us and accept it as fact for that is too passive and doesn’t require any participation of the reader. Neither can we simply refute every argument that the author has the say, for that is a quality of an arrogant fool. So what do we do?

In Francis Bacon’s “Of Studies”, Bacon broaches this very topic of how a scholar becomes a scholar by the way he reads. He explores the paradox of approaching a piece of text and eloquently states “read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, […] but to weigh and consider” (Bacon 9). He believes that to truly grow from a piece of literature is to take it apart and project our own perspectives unto it. To get the most out of...

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