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by Francis Bacon

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Can you please discuss and explain Sir Francis Bacon's essay "On Truth"?

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A helpful discussion of Sir Francis Bacon’s essay “Of Truth” might begin by simply paraphrasing the argument of the essay.  Essentially, Bacon argues as follows:

  • Although there are few philosophical skeptics left, many human beings still seem to prefer the freedom to adopt their own views over the hard work of pursuing truth, since they consider truth constricting.
  • Human beings seem to have a natural disposition to want to lie.
  • To many people, simple truth never seems as attractive as appealing falsehoods.
  • People seem to take pleasure in lying.
  • The worst lies are those that take deep root in people’s minds.
  • The pursuit of truth is, or should be, “the sovereign good of human nature.” After all,

The first creature of God . . . was the light of the sense; the last was the light of reason.

  • To possess truth is like standing on a tall hill and observing the follies and errors of mankind below.
  • Yet we should pity those who lack truth rather...

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