Saturday, March 12, 2022

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider."-- Explain.

This passage is taken from Bacon's essay 'Of Studies'. Here Bacon states the true aim of reading or study. Study enhances our power of judgment and analytical skill. But if we use this power for disputing and contradicting the statement of others that will frustrate the real aim of study. The eagerness to confute and contradict others is a negative attitude, for in this way one tries to establish one's superiority to others. Nor is the reader to take all that he reads in books as gospel truth. The aim of studies is not to find talk and discourse i.e., to show off one's linguistic ability through high-flown speeches and writings in bombastic language. Reading of books undoubtedly enhances one's ability to speak and write, to confute and contradict the statements of others. But these are not the real aim of studies. Studies should equip a person to examine a subject matter carefully, to judge its real worth. Nothing should be accepted on authority. Nothing should be accepted as true sim ply because it has been said e.g. by Aristotle or by the Pope. Everything should be weighed in the balance of reason and accepted only after careful analysis and scrutiny. In this respect Bacon may be said to be a forerunner of the spirit of Renaissance. In the Middle Ages everything was accepted on the authority of the Church and the Pope. Faith was accorded the highest place, reason a secondary place. But with the coming of the Renaissance human reason was restored to its rightful place. That is why Bacon holds that the aim of studies is to weigh and consider.

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