Philosophy Of Humanism
Leigh J McCloskey
Because you know, Francis Bacon in 1620 publishes Novum Organum, you know, toward the New World.1 And you see there’s a frontispiece with a sailing ship moving through the pillars of Hercules, and it’s essentially saying we set sail now toward a new world, toward a way of thinking that will throw off the old. And he’s really anti teleology, meaning he’s saying that no longer will we look at things in a type of synthesizing way, but we will look at them separately. We will not find in a sense of cohesive overriding narrative, a bit with even post modernism, you know, takes to the nth degree now.
But it’s the sense that we must separate ourselves from having, let’s say, Kircher or Fludd. They have a pervasive, Hermetic, philosophical basis. As a matter of fact, Fludd will argue for geocentricity, not because he’s ignorant of the fact that the earth revolves around the sun, but he’s speaking at that time to Johannes Kepler and they’re writing back and forth. He’s saying your three laws of planetary motion are going to essentially establish, within the psyche of the human being, a sense that it is about time and space and distance between things, and by moving our sense of center off of the earth in a sense ourselves as the prime instrument of our own experience, like the center of the wheel.2
We will move ourselves out to the sun. We’ll move ourselves to the outward wheel, and then as we start to measure the distance between planets, we will begin to forget that the planets really are archetypal, meaning they are entity, and we will begin to believe they are simply objects and things, and that the key to all of it is math, rather than life.3 And when people talk about alchemy being a pseudoscience, they are not understanding that what Bacon — what happens is there’s a schism that will lead to scientific rationalism or the age of reason with the story that we will no longer attend to a pervasive philosophy of humanism.4 We will, in other words, divide and conquer. So, we gave up in a way a sense of synthesizing.