“Of Studies” by Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

“Of Studies” by Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

  • Studies are for 3 different purposes
    • Delight – in privateness &retiring
    • Ornament – in discourse
    • Ability – in the judgment & disposition of business
  • Expert men can execute & judge particulars – but generally speaking, the best advice & plans come from learned men
    • Spending too much time with your nose in a book makes you lazy, pompous & boring
    • They perfect nature & are perfected by experience
      • Natural abilities need to be tended to like plants, studying & experience give them direction
    • Crafty men have contempt for studies, wise men use them
  • We should read different books for different reasons
    • Some only in parts
    • Some to be chewed & digested
    • Some to be swallowed whole with care
    • Some books can be read in summaries written by others
      • Not very important books
  • Reading makes a full man & the same way that conference makes a ready man & writing an exact man
    • Not writing is fine if you’ve got a great memory
    • Not reading is fine if are extremely clever
  • History makes us wise, math makes us subtle, philosophy makes us deep, morality makes us serious, and logic & rhetoric makes us able to contend
    • There’s hardly any problem that can’t be solved by more reading just as exercise is good for all parts of the body.
    • If your wits are lacking, study something & turn a weakness into a strength

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