Talk:Roger Bacon

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Removing Arab embroidery[edit]

"He was intimately acquainted with the philosophical and scientific insights of the Arabic world, which was the most advanced civilization at the time." The is conjecture and unsubst antiated. He studied in English Universities and had no "intimate" acquaintance with th e Arabic world.

You've made a leap of logic. The Arabic world isn't the equivalent of the Arabic world's philosophy and scientific insight. --Ceriel Nosforit 15:22, 2005 May 1 (UTC)

Actually Roger Bacon was intimately familiar with esoteric Arab knowledge, religious, scientific and otherwise. He lectured at Oxford wearing what would now be called Sufi robes. For more details on this and unimpeachable sources, see Idries Shah's "The Sufi s", Octagon Press. --Kneeslasher 15:06, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Shah is scarcely an umimpeachalbe source! bacon doesn not seem to ahve had more contact with Arabic culture than his contemproaries.

I notice also the article has been vandalized. I fixed the reference to Bacon as the inventor of bacon, but someone with more expert knowldge needs to go through it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.0.37.207 (talk) 19:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

There is some kind of Islamic propaganda-wave hitting Wikipedia. Articles completely unrelated to the subject of Islam or Muslims are being rearranged, like this one, to credit Muslims who had no involvemnt. Roger Bacon is widely considered 'The Father of the Scientific Method', not 'an early european proponent of the scientific method, beholden to islamic forerunners'. Given the hostility between Christianity and Islam during the middle ages, and the fact that the printing press was not invented until centuries after Bacon's death, it is highly unlikely that he ever read the works referenced here as his 'inspiration'. Flashinpon (talk) 21:06, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The important thing is to make sure whatever is said is based on a reliable source. Islamists are in many cases rightly annoyed at that part of the histories being slighted, but like other editors they will often over-reach and add more than what reliable secondary sources support. Sometimes, if the source is minor, things will have to be reported as minority opinions. But assume good faith and work with them to bring the article to where it represents the broadest possible view, keeping with policies. One thing I believe is clear based on a Roger Bacon bio I read a year or so ago is that the Aristotle he studied had gone through translation from the Greeks to the Arabs and later back to Latin. There's no doubt that he was influenced by Arab writing and thought; but we'll need to consult sources to see what can be said about that. Dicklyon (talk) 22:39, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The fact is that proper use of the scientific method is recorded historically in the Middle East hundreds of years before Europe. In this case Ibn Haytham over 200 years before Roger Bacon. In the face of the evidence to consider Bacon the father of the scientific method is rank bias, when he was merely a proponent of it much after it's use by Arab scholars. Rlinfinity (talk) 21:48, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Probably a good way to get closer to NPOV on the role of Islamic thought on Roger Bacon would be to look at the literature. I was just browsing bibliographies for recent publications on Bacon and came across two new studies of the influence of Alhacen (ibn al-Haytham) on his thought:
  • Simon, Gérard. "Roger Bacon et Kepler lecteurs d'Alhazen", Archives Internationales d'histoire des Sciences, 51 (2001): 38-54
  • Hayek, Simon. "Roger Bacon and Ibn al-Haytham", Journal for the History of Arabic Science 12 (2001): 296-265 -- Not conveniently accessible (in Arabic)
--SteveMcCluskey (talk) 04:06, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Scholasticism[edit]

This article is currently in Category:Scholastic philosophers, but as

Bacon withdrew from the scholastic routine and devoted himself to languages and experimental research.

and

He was an enthusiastic proponent and practician of the experimental method of acquiring knowledge about the world.

shouldn't he also belong to Category:Empiricists

  • Yes. Done! —Aetheling 23:37, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I checked out a huge book called Science, Its History and Development Among the World's Cultures, and it has some interesting info on Bacon's life that I think I'll add :) Blueaster 20:27, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Scholasticism (specifically on Aristotle)[edit]

Aristotle, though certainly not an empiricist, did at least try to derive science from the real world. Scholasticism relied on deduction from certain authorities (of whom Aristotle was one) whose claims were simply defined to be true—the real world had very little to do with it. In claiming that Bacon started to break from Scholasticism, I think we should careful not to also claim that he was breaking from Aristotle. —Ryan McDaniel 19:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Dated historiography[edit]

Much of this article still shows the influence of the outdated historiography of the 1911 Brittanica article. I've added a section on changing interpretations of Bacon that addresses the principle issues. Obviously, more changes still need to be done to the body of the article. --SteveMcCluskey 16:52, 11 February 2007 (UTC)!hola!

The "featured article" on cannon used the 1771 version of Brittanica (I kid you not [1]). The 1911 edition is perhaps more problematic as it gave credence to the then-recent (c. 1904) Hime gunpowder theory, which not only gave the dubious decryption of a non-working formula, but did it in order to prove that Bacon was the first to discover gunpowder, and that he was hiding from the inquisition. One cannot escape the feeling that there was a veneer of British nationalism in all that, much like German sources of the time tended to support Albert Magnus or Berthold Schwarz as inventors of gunpowder. Granted, Lynn Thorndike and George Sarton only published their criticism of the Hime theory starting from 1915 or so (starting with Thorndike in Science (journal), doi:10.1126/science.42.1092.799-a), and communications were much slower at the time. I'm not sure who Robert Steele was (the 1928 critic of the Hime theory in Nature (journal) doi:10.1038/121208a0), but neither Thorndike nor Sarton were British. Nonetheless, some British sources clang to the Hime theory well into the 20th century. The late Ian V. Hogg comes to mind. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 00:40, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Quotations[edit]

How can this section be said to be unsourced/unreferenced, when it consists of quotations from Bacon's works, each referenced ? -- HenriLobineau

Death[edit]

His life seems to peter out in 2010, with no mention of when, where and how he died. A death date of 11 June 1294 gets quite a run on Google, although some cites say it's "possible" or "probable" rather than "certain". A death year of 1292 is also found. -- JackofOz (talk) 00:59, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Beavers?[edit]

"His advocacy of scientia experimentalis has been argued to differ from modern experimental science beavers,[12] and many " I'm pretty certain thats not meant to say beavers, but I'm unsure what it is a mistype of. Could someone more familiar with the sources fix this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.192.35.132 (talk) 18:26, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

The history shows that the word "beavers" was added by someone. Reverted to the earlier edit. biriwilg 05:21, 3 August 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Biriwilg (talkcontribs)

Cryptography?[edit]

In many sites Bacon is cited as an early cryptologist .. in his work "Concerning the Marvelous Power of Art and of Nature and Concerning the Nullity of Magic" wrote about nescessity of ciphers and listen several methods. It's true? detailed info? 88.149.245.72 (talk) 21:14, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Death Date?[edit]

Currently, the article states that Bacon was born c. 1214 (correct), but that he died in 1240. That is patently false, as the article itself tells of events in his life in the 1270s. Presumably, the estimated time of his death is something like c. 1280. Perhaps someone with a bonafide source could supply a more accurate death date. Lapisphil (talk) 02:22, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Article now says he died in 1294. Also, see my earlier post above - "Death". I'd still like to know how the specific date of 11 June 1294 came about. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 12:56, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Peter of Maricourt[edit]

The article states that Bacon regarded Peter of Maricourt and John of London as "perfect mathematicians", as do other sources such as the online DNB. However, the Wikipedia article on Peter suggests that the comment is probably a gloss by a later writer. No reference is given for this statement. Does anyone know whether it is generally accepted that Bacon described these two as perfect mathematicians? Dudley Miles (talk) 13:47, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Changing interpretations of Bacon[edit]

I have a suspicion that the "Changing interpretations of Bacon" section goes too far into a fashionable revisionism. "His advocacy of scientia experimentalis has been argued to differ from modern experimental science" Can anyone expand on what is meant by this? If I remember correctly, I once heard Lindberg speak on this subject, and I was unimpressed with his grasp of experimental science. He seemed to think there was something wrong with some of Bacon's examples, such as going for a walk and observing the way a rainbow appears to move. No one with any technical background has any objection to calling that an "experiment" (we typically use instrumentation because the easy observations that can be made with the naked eye have largely been done -- there's nothing inherent in experiment that requires apparatus). -- Doom (talk) 20:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The revisionism seems to be partly motivated by rehabilitating the view of the church in how they treated him. It's unclear to me whether the multiply-cited Lindberg really represents the modern view, versus one fringe alternative view. Dicklyon (talk) 21:59, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Wow, what happened to this article. It has had most of the information stripped out of it. The old version is at

http://www.answers.com/topic/roger-bacon

David C Lindberg is one of the world's leading historians of medieval science. His 'Beginnings of Western Science' is the leading textbook in it's area; hence why he is cited multiple times; or was until all the content was taken out of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.205.116.242 (talk) 15:29, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Bacon in Fiction[edit]

This paragraph is bylined 'dubious':

"Probably the most comprehensive and accessible description of Roger Bacon's life and times to a modern reader is contained in the book Doctor Mirabilis, written in 1964 by the science fiction author James Blish. This is the second book in Blish's quasi-religious trilogy After Such Knowledge, and is a complete, at times biographical recounting of Bacon's life and struggle to develop a 'Universal Science'. Though thoroughly academically researched, with a host of accurate references, including extensive use of Bacon's own writings, frequently in the original Latin, the book is written in the style of a novel, and Blish himself referred to it as 'fiction' or 'a vision'."

What is dubious about it? This is a very readable and easy-to-obtain book (try ebay) which covers Bacon's life and times. Blish spent several years researching the book, from 1958 until it was published in 1964, with Anne Faber of Faber and Faber as well as several other academics providing detailed medieval data (see Ch 7 - 'Imprisoned in a Tesseract' David Ketterer ISBN 0-87338-334-6). The references referred to are, unsurprisingly, in Doctor Mirabilis. Apart from the Foreword (where Blish refers to the work as a 'fiction or a vision') and the latin texts scattered throughout the book, there are half a dozen pages of notes at the back. But remember, this is meant to be a novel, not a reference book.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.13.162.172 (talk) 23:46, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I support the assertion - could the contributor who assigned the 'dubious' status please step forward? This is weaselly nitpicking, and a clear failure to read the article and interpret context. Shame on you ! --Deepshark (talk) 12:17, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
User:Stevenmitchell added that, and including the inline comment "This is totally ridiculous and unsubstantiated. For the author to come to that conclusion, they would have to ignore half of the information written about and by him. This book is based on research from 45 years ago - it is hardly current..." I tend to agree. If you want to say a piece of fiction is ""Probably the most comprehensive and accessible description of Roger Bacon's life and times", then you better cite a good secondary source for that opinion. Dicklyon (talk) 01:19, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

How about the reference I gave? (see Ch 7 - 'Imprisoned in a Tesseract' David Ketterer ISBN 0-87338-334-6) And Deepshark5 is quite correct below in interpreting my words - note that I did not say 'correct' because nobody can claim at this distance that ANY depiction of Roger Bacon is correct. What I said it that it is comprehensive (covering his life from about 18 years old until his death), and accessible (because it is instantly available on ebay or Amazon at a low cost). Both of these are easily verifiable non-interpretable facts. It is clearly specified as fiction - it happens to be very well researched for its time (see my reference above); if you know of any other comparable work in existence, scholarly or not, please include it as a reference. I believe that this is pretty much the only work covering Roger Bacon's life which a non-specialist can access in practice, beyond encyclopedia entries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.13.162.172 (talk) 11:30, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Re last post by Dicklyon: Could you recommend a better parsing or phrasing ? Blish (1964) notes himself that '...A genius and his works remain unruly to this day...' Things haven't changed much since then, and working with Roger's Opus Tert. is a real headache - I gave it a go at University. Nevertheless, I suspect the assertion does have some validity - there are very few English language books that are not scholarly in form and function that give an account of Roger Bacon. In addition, there does not appear to be much research undertaken about Roger Bacon - searches on publisher's websites such as Springer, Elsevier, Wiley etc. who have Science History journals do not appear to be saying much about recent work in relation to Bacon studies - though please correct me if I am wrong, I have merely being skimming abstracts. The main contributor could perhaps be interpreted as saying that Doctor Mirabilis is the most non-scholarly English language account of Bacon's life. Would this perhaps be a better way to phrase the statement ? comments please - I can make the correction very quickly, if you would like me to do so (and its a quick job too!) --Deepshark (talk) 03:23, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't have any particular knowledge or insights about this, just pointing out that interpretive statements should follow sources. If you want to say something interpretive about a source (fiction or otherwise), you need another source that does that; otherwise, just reports fact and opinions from the source itself. Dicklyon (talk) 03:35, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

It's now over a year since this discussion. Is the tag saying the claim is "dubious" still needed?— Rod talk 22:11, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

So much Systemic Bias[edit]

In this and many other articles on science. Just read the first line: "He is sometimes credited as one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method[1] inspired by the works of Plato and Aristotle via early Islamic scientists and Jewish scholars: Avicenna, Averroes, and Maimonides."

The implication is that Avicenna, Averroes and Maimonides were mere transmitters of Greek knowledge. This cannot be further from the truth. For example, Ibn Al-Haytham's work on optics was probably the earliest recorded use of the complete "Scientific Method" (the basis of Modern Science). Such bias is simply unacceptable. This is article reeks of continued attempts by eurocentric thinkers to efface their debt to Arab science.

"Inspired by the works of Plato and Aristotle" could well be eliminated here. It just adds bias to the article. Roger Bacon was clearly influenced, heavily by the work of Arab thinkers. More by the Induction of Ibn Haytham rather than the Deduction of Aristotle; of the scientific philosophy of Avicenna and Averroes more-so than that of Plato.

Revolting. Rlinfinity (talk) 21:44, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't see the problem. It says he was "one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method" and says who he was inspired by. How does that detract from them? Dicklyon (talk) 01:21, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Fansite![edit]

The article is written like a fansite, RB is, by writers measures obviously a superman, inventing everything conceivable and everything else 400 years before all the dummies, Newton, Einstein, Witten and everybody else. Not to speak about the lowly platyshelmintes of ourselves!! F.ex.:

Bacon possessed one of the most commanding intellects of his age, and made many discoveries while coming near to many others, despite many disadvantages and discouragements.

equals to factually nil-nada - just a waste of breath/bandwidth,

Bacon also wrote a criticism of the Julian calendar which was then still in use.

yeah, but was the criticism of the correct kind?

He first recognized the visible spectrum in a glass of water, four centuries before Sir Isaac Newton discovered that prisms could disassemble and reassemble white light.

yeah, but did he correctly describe what was happening? Anyone can play with a pair of pieces of glass.

Believing that the craftsman and skilled tradesman had a greater knowledge of reality than that of his peers in the ivory towers, Bacon was an enthusiastic proponent and practitioner of the experimental method of acquiring knowledge about the world.

yeah, all we other lowly subhumans (nil-nada content) ... etc...

I prefer a factual and dry story about the scientific implications of what he did, not this fansite kind of text. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:57, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Agree on most of your points. The peacock claims need to be rewritten -- he was a major figure but not one of the most commanding intellects. The claim about the spectrum is definitely off -- particularly since Bacon (like most of his contemporaries) distinguished light from color. On the other hand, his criticism of the Julian calendar was right on target. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 19:56, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

On the other hand again, Bacon makes some spectacularly accurate predictions - cars, aircraft, submarines, hydraulics, suspension bridges and such, which he foresaw could be the result of following his proposed schema for scientific investigation. No matter how you depict that, it's going to look impressive... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.13.162.172 (talk) 11:43, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Bacon in prison?[edit]

For years I have been thinking something is wrong or misleading in the way this article describes the discussion surrounding Roger Bacon's alleged imprisonment. For instance, compare below the quotation with the text currently in the article:

Quotation Text from the article
"The assertion that Bacon was imprisoned (allegedly by the head of his own Franciscan order) first originates some eighty years after his death and has drawn skepticism on these grounds alone. Scholars who find this assertion plausible connect it with Bacon’s attraction to contemporary prophecies that have nothing to do with Bacon’s scientific, mathematical, or philosophical writings." (p.21). Chapter 2, by Michael H. Shank in Ronald L. Numbers (ed.) Galileo Goes to Jail, and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). Bacon described in 1267 how the Franciscans kept him in isolated confinement in a small cell in Paris for many years, and prevented him from teaching his scientific views: "...for my superiors and brothers, disciplining me with hunger, kept me under close guard and would not permit anyone to come to me, fearing that my writings would be divulged to others [rather] than to the chief pontiff and themselves," and that they treated him with "unspeakable violence" and "for ten years had been exiled from former University fame."[1] Though the late-14th century Chronicle of the Twenty-Four Generals reports this imprisonment,[2] some modern accounts of his life dispute the existence or length of his period of imprisonment,[3] or suggest that it resulted from his sympathies for radical Franciscans[4] or interest in astrology.[5]
  • How can Michael H. Shank say that "the assertion that Bacon was imprisoned... first originates some eighty years after his death" while this article currently seems to say that Bacon himself reported the imprisonment?
  • More generally: how can many respected historians of science doubt that Bacon was ever in prison if (what seems to be) a direct quotation from Bacon (reported by Lawrence Goldstone and Nancy Goldstone) seems to be describing the event?

I wonder if we are misinterpreting something, or if the Goldstones misinterpreted something (since, AFAIK, they are not historians of science), or... ... ... Anyway, what are your views on this? --Leinad-Z (talk) 18:36, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

The same quote, and a more balanced analysis preceding the Goldstones appears in this book. The source of the quote is explained in this 1981 book (see note 59). Dicklyon (talk) 22:26, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the input Dicklyon, much appreciated. --Leinad-Z (talk) 16:03, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
  1. One thing I noticed is that the book explaining the the source of the quote was written by David C. Lindberg. An author who doubts that bacon was ever imprisoned. So, it looks like the quotation can be seen as no real description of an imprisonment. (BTW, Lindberg is probably the major living scholar on the topic of medieval science, and he wrote at least two works about Bacon.)
  2. It seems that the main problem of this wikipedia article is the text preceding the quotation. As I suggested elsewhere, I think the Goldstones are an unreliable source. (I will latter elaborate on this). By featuring the views of the Goldstones, this article is misleading the readers on how strong that quotation is as a "proof" of imprisonment. The prevalence of their analysis is also misrepresenting the actual views of current scholarship about whether Bacon spent time in a prison or not and, especially, the possible reasons for it. Notice that this (unreliable) source is the only modern source we have that is claiming the alleged imprisonment happened "because of science". --Leinad-Z (talk) 16:03, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Changes...[edit]

I was developing a new version for the paragraph that (1) ignores the Goldstones and (2) is mainly based on the quotation by Michael H. Shank above --which, unlike the other sources, has the important feature of providing an overview of the opinions among current (reliable) scholars.
I previously planned to make changes only after carefully listing reasons that make the Goldstones unreliable. But I noticed yesterday yet another problem: the quotation by Bacon is from before the time of the supposed imprisonment. As such, the current text is patently misleading and needs to be replaced. I will use the text I was preparing and hope other editors help improve and expand the topic from this new starting point. --Leinad-Z (talk) 11:09, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
After the change above, I think I should cite at least some of the reasons that make me question the Goldstones: (1) They are not historians of science. (2) The book is not academic - their popularized account of Bacon did not necessarily received the same scrutiny expected from scholarly works (e.g. peer review, etc.). (3) They have received criticism such as this: "In the coverage of Bacon's life and work there are a number of small but telling flaws that suggest rather rapid research from limited sources. Statements made as fact about Bacon's history (...) have no documentary basis. Bacon's medieval science is totally misunderstood (...) Similarly there are some worrying errors when they finally get onto manuscript and its encipherment..." [2] --Leinad-Z (talk) 12:31, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

The Goldstones are amusing[edit]

The last chapter of their book starts with "INSTEAD OF BEING THE MAKING OF BACON'S REPUTATION, the cipher manuscript turned out to be the ruin of it." Never mind that no serious work on Bacon has spent any time on the Voynich MS before or after. And they wildly flap their arms on the edge of the abyss after that, trying to show that the 20th century reevaluations of Bacon couldn't have possibly been caused by anything else. For example, after dismissing Thorndike and Hackett, they write "As for the academic community, the only serious study of Bacon's life since Thorndike was Stewart Easton's Roger Bacon and His Search for a Universal Science. Easton, while assuring the reader that he had “tried to keep from any bias for or against” Bacon, went on to say, “I have worked on the assumption that he cannot have been unique, and that his originality, as, indeed, all human originality, has rested on his treatment of materials familiar to large numbers of people in his time.” Would Easton have taken the same approach if he were writing about Newton or Einstein? As it was, through the filter of that assumption, Easton came to the conclusion, not surprisingly, that little that Bacon did was original (or unique)." Etc. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 23:46, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

The Name of the Rose[edit]

Note he is a major background character in Ecco's "Name of the Rose" and also that he is said to have written on hiding messeages in paintings as well as the more obvious cyphers.Wblakesx (talk) 10:44, 11 February 2011 (UTC)wblakesx

crackpottery--[edit]

I have hunch how the fringe theory of the 7:5:5 gunpowder formula became 6:5:5, which has been reproduced in parallel by some the popmilhist book industry and, more depressingly, by some chemistry books as recent as ISBN 0854041273, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2009. The earliest place where I found the error is in Ordnance, Volumes 3-4, 1922, p. 282. The "VII" from Hime became "VI" there. It's amusing that a crackpot theory started based on a copying error has produced an offspring by the same method! Have mörser, will travel (talk) 16:49, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

'Democracy in Islam', etc.[edit]

That book on 'Democracy in Islam', is of questionable topical focus here. First, it is actually emphasizing the Islamic influence on Bacon, not the Aristotelian one, so as a citation it was misused. Second, the names of the authors suggest rather obvious bias, they provide no supporting evidence, and their outlying point of view can hardly be found in your average work on Bacon. It's true that the Secret of Secrets may have had such origins. But it's not certain, and Bacon never read Arabic. The subsequent reference, Glick et al., discuss this in some detail without the sweeping remarks from 'Democracy in Islam'. I going to change Islamic to Arabic to follow them closer, by the way. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 16:03, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

'Opus Majus', 'Opus maius'[edit]

There should be some uniformity in naming that work. Both (Medieval) Latin and English capitalization rules are used, and both the 'j' and the 'i' version appear, sometimes next to each other e.g., "As a result Bacon sent the Pope his Opus Majus, [...]. Besides the Opus maius [...]" Have mörser, will travel (talk) 04:02, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I suspect this came to be because of the capitalization rules in Wikipedia article titles, which don't conform to the academic practice for Latin titles with respect to capitalization: Opus Majus, Secretum Secretorum, Liber Ignium etc. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 04:22, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Astrology[edit]

This is actually true at least in part, I'm making a note here to dig a citation for it. (talk) 20:05, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Quote from Mayer[edit]

A few outstanding minds like Roger Bacon stood out, but they were regarded with great suspicion by the Church. Small wonder that Bacon had vast contempt for the prevailing knowledge of his time and he thought that he could learn more from the man in the street than from renowned scholars. He felt that the only road to truth lay in experimentation, not in abstract statements about God, the soul, and angels. While predicting the invention of the airplane, the submarine, and the motor car, he urged also the study of mathematics to give a quantitative basis to science. Still he was suffering from the limitations of his time. His main purpose was to substantiate the truth of the Bible and he believed in experimental science to ward off the onslaughts of the Anti-Christ

---some jerk on the Internet (talk) 14:47, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Okay, thanks. It's quite difficult to consider Mayer as RS about Bacon, but at least we know he emitted that opinion. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 07:53, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Possible of Arabic origin?[edit]

Roger bacon mentions AlHazen (The guy who is known as the father of scientific method) several times in his book. I am gonna change the part which states "... of possible arabic origin" because there is no doubt that AlHazen influenced him.

Link

--Arsaces (talk) 08:40, 20 January 2012 (UTC) The article on Al Hazen itself states he was possibly of Arabic origin

Montalban (talk) 03:08, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Europe - or just the west?[edit]

The article contains the following:

he began to lecture at the university of Paris, then the centre of intellectual life in Europe.

Should this not be 'western' Europe as intellectual life continued in Constantinople despite the relative 'dark ages' of the west Montalban (talk) 03:05, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Albertus Magnus and the "Unnamed doctor"[edit]

This article accepts as fact the assertion that the unnamed Doctor at Paris attacked in the Opus Minus and Opus Tertium is Albertus Magnus. It doesn't even mention that the attacks are on an unnamed person widely thought to be Albertus (although many who think so may be equally ignorant of the controversy). This identification is still a matter of debate, which should be at least mentioned on the page. I will add specific references, pro and con, to this page later. Itsbruce (talk) 06:28, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

The notion that Bacon was hostile to Albertus is well accepted in recent historical literature; it is clear that Bacon was hostile to an unnamed master and Albertus is the contemporary who best fits this description in a number of ways. In his late Compendium studii philosophae Bacon explicitly criticizes the teachings of "the boys among the students of the two orders like Albert and Thomas, and others, who enter the orders when for the most part they are twenty years of age and less." Some earlier studies consider Bacon's unnamed master was Thomas Aquinas rather than Albertus Magnus. Of the authors cited, Hackett and Easton have both presented detailed arguments identifying Albertus as Bacon's target and LeMay accepts this position.
As always, if you can find a reliable source identifying someone else as Bacon's target, feel free to edit. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:22, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
So we have two figures, one explicitly named and one unnamed and only allusively identified (such that some informed consensus about a candidate has only been established in the last few decades), but a strong case has to be made for treating those two as qualitatively different? Alternative candidates have to be presented before a difference in the level of certainty can even be admitted? Boggling! Even disregarding the fact that you mention one previously considered candidate yourself, that's a puzzling standard to set. Itsbruce (talk) 10:54, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
This discussion isn't very productive. The recent work of Easton (1952) and Hackett (1980) supercedes older historiography. Since Easton's study in 1952 there's been a historical consensus that Bacon opposed what he saw as the poor preparation of Albertus and those like him who taught theology without having studied natural philosophy in the arts curriculum.
We've both said our piece. If you want to edit the article to provide other well sourced interpretations of the "unnamed master", do so. Then we'll have a concrete alternative to consider. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 13:20, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Lawrence Goldstone and Nancy Goldstone (2006). The Friar and the Cipher: Roger Bacon and the Unsolved Mystery of the Most Unusual Manuscript in the World. Broadway Books. ISBN 0767914724. 
    • ^ Roger Bacon, Thomas S. Maloney, Compendium of the study of theology, p. 8
    • ^ Steven J. Williams, "Roger Bacon and His Edition of the Pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum secretorum," Speculum, 69 (1994): 57–73, see p. 71, n. 74.
    • ^ Lindberg, D.C. (1995). "Medieval Science and Its Religious Context". Osiris 10 (10): 60–79. doi:10.1086/368743. Retrieved 2007-07-07. "his imprisonment, if it occurred at all (which I doubt) probably resulted from his sympathies for the radical 'poverty' wing of the Franciscans (a wholly theological matter) rather than from any scientific novelties which he may have proposed (p. 70)" 
    • ^ Sidelko, Paul L. (March 1996). "The condemnation of Roger Bacon". Journal of Medieval History 22 (1): 69–81. doi:10.1016/0304-4181(96)00009-7.