Friday, March 11, 2022

Short questions and answers of the essay "Of Studies" by Francis Bacon.

Q. What is the sub-title of the Essays of Bacon?
Ans. The Essays have as their sub-title 'Counsels Civil and Moral'. The essays contain advice for the proper guidance of our practical life. These counsels are also meant for the improvement of the reader's moral life. These Essays are not mere theoretical or literary exercises.

Q. What idea do you form of Bacon's style from a study of his Essays?
Ans. Bacon was a philosopher. Each one of his essays is a repository of compact and profound thoughts and ideas. His sentences are short, pithy, almost aphoristic in style. What Bacon expresses in one sentence an ordinary writer would take a paragraph to state. That is why many of his short sentences have become quotable quotes. Only in Shakespeare do we have more quotations.

Q. What does Bacon mean by saying that some few books are to be chewed and digested?
Ans. All books are not of equal value or importance. Some books, especially the light ones, are to be tasted casually, i.e., gone though quickly. Some other more important books are to be swallowed, i.e., they should be studied from cover to cover. But the books of real merit should be chewed and digested, they should be studied thoroughly and we should take from them all that will lead to the nourishment of our mental faculties.

Q. What is meant by the Latin expression: Abeunt studia in mores?
Ans. It is a Latin expression taken by Bacon from Ovid. It means studies influence manners, i.e., the reading of books has a definite influence on our mental and moral faculties. History, say Bacon, makes man wise. The study of poetry, enhances the imaginative faculty of man; books on mathematics make us subtle i.e., give us analytical skill; natural philosophy or books on science makes us deep, capable of thinking seriously, logic and rhetoric make us able to contend or take on our opponents, dispute and argue with them. A knowledge of logic teaches us how to defeat our opponents in argument. Thus studies of different types of books influence the nature and character of men.

Q. Who were the schoolmen?
Ans. The word 'schoolmen' or scholastic philosophers meant those who adhered to the method or subtleties of the Medieval schools of philosophy. These philosophers were mostly theologians who accepted the Christian doctrines and tried to prove logically the basic tenets of Christianity like the Original Sin, the Doctrine of Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one) etc. These schoolmen were noted for their fine and hair-splitting distinctions which could hardly be understood by men of average intelligence.

Q. What are the three main uses of study stated by Bacon in his essay 'Of Studies"? 
Ans. According to Bacon, the three main uses of studies are for delight, for ornament and for ability. Studies give us unalloyed de light in our hours of leisure and solitude. Studies serve for ornamentation of our language. A study of books helps us in improving our speech and discourse by indicating what to say, how to say and when to say. Thirdly, studies also enhance our natural ability. Studies increase our power of judgment and give indications regarding the way in which we should proceed.

Q. What, according to Bacon, is the difference between 'ex pert men' and 'learned' men? 
Ans. By 'expert men' Bacon means those who can execute, are able to give concrete shape to plans and programmes. They are doers of deeds and can think in terms of particular objects and events but have little grasp over universal principles or theories. But the plots i.e., the schemes, ideas or principles and the marshalling i.e., ordering of objects, events and ideas can be done only by the learned, i.e., the theoretician who has entered deep into the theoretical basis of natural phenomena.

Q. Distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. 
Ans. By the expression distilled books, Bacon means the summaries of books. Less important books may be read in summaries. But when summarized, books lose their charm. As water be comes tasteless when distilled, books too when summarized be come dull and insipid.

Q. They perfect nature and are perfected by experience. 
Ans. Studies perfect the natural abilities of man. The nature abilities of man are like natural plants. To give proper shape to natural plants one should prune and trim them. Similar is the case with men. Their nature has also to be improved through study of books. But book learning alone is not enough. The proper formation of man's nature need experience in addition to studies. With out practical knowledge theoretical knowledge is of little value.

Q. Threefold purposes of study as specified by Bacon.
Ans. According to Bacon, studies serve for delight, for ornament and for ability. Q, What come from the learned? Ans. From the learned persons come the general counsels, the plots and marshalling of affairs. 

Q. What is the attitude towards studies of the crafty men, simple men and wise men?
Ans. Crafty men hate or condemn studies; simple men not being learned, admire them; but the wise men use them properly.

Q. Is contradicting or confuting (refuting) the aim of studies? 
Ans. Bacon states clearly that one should not read to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted all that is read, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.

Q. What is the meaning of "Abeunt studia in mores"?
Ans. The Latin expression means "Studies influence character". This sentence is taken from Ovid.

Q. Who are "cymini sectores"? 
Ans. The expression means divider of cumin seed which is very small in size. The expression has come to mean those who are experts in hair-splitting or in making subtle distinctions. It was applied to Antoninus Pius. 

Q. Who were the schoolmen?
Ans. The schoolmen were Christian theologians and philosophers of the Middle Ages who were experts in making subtle metaphysical distinctions. 

Q. What does Bacon mean by 'special receit'?
Ans. Receit means remedy or prescription. Bacon holds that different types of defect of the mind may be cured by studies of different types.

Q. What is meant by the expression to beat over matters"? 
Ans. This expression means to make a rapid survey of cases or instances to prove something. If one fails to do so, one should study lawyer's cases.

Q. What is the effect of excessive study?
Ans. It makes the reader lazy. 

Q. To make judgments wholly by their rules. - What does it mean?
Ans. A scholar who is excessively dependent on book knowledge makes his judgment on the basis of academic knowledge, not on experience of the world.

Q. What is perfected by studies?
Ans. Studies perfect nature and natural abilities.

Q. What is good for the stones and reins?
Ans. Bowling is good for the diseases of stones and reins (kidney).

No comments:

Post a Comment