In Defense of Bacon

Alan Soble

in A House Built on Sand

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780195117257
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785995 | DOI:
 In Defense of Bacon

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Feminist critics, particularly, Sandra Harding, Carolyn Merchant, and Evelyn Fox Keller, claim that misogynous sexual metaphors played an important role in the rise of modern science. The writings of Francis Bacon have been singled out as an especially egregious instance of the use of misogynous (“rape”) metaphors in scientific philosophy to promote the scientific method and to justify technological innovation. This chapter presents a defense of Bacon, arguing that the feminist reading of Bacon is based on misquotations, passages taken out of context, projection, and scholarly uncharitability.

Keywords: Sandra Harding; Carolyn Merchant; Evelyn Fox Keller; Francis Bacon; sexual metaphor; misogyny; philosophy of science; modern scientific method

Chapter.  12109 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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