Francis Bacon: Persuasiveness

Francis_Bacon,_Viscount_St_Alban_from_NPG_(2)Francis Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, and most notably, one of the first to use the form of the essay. Following in the footsteps of Montaigne, Bacon began publishing essays on various topics.

One of his essays discussed his opinion of debt, and he even gave ideas as to how much of your income you should spend or save in order to increase your own wealth. However, his essay has no power to it, especially when you understand how he himself did the exact opposite of his own advice, and at his death was in debt  £24,000, or  £3m in current value. By the time he wrote the essay, he had already been disgraced and removed from his position as Lord Chancellor of England under James I, and so he had his own life as hindsight. The least he could of done would be to use his own example to spur the readers to follow his own advice, as he had experienced not following it and was suffering the consequences. But, since he did not do so, this essay is lacking, and probably not going to be persuasive enough to convince someone to not go into debt.

My Thoughts on Thomas More’s Utopia

Gold is useless? Yes, except as a means of exchange. It seems as if the Utopians understood this but their surface philosophy seems to disagree.

Utopia, meaning “no-place”, is Thomas More’s description of a place with no private property and socialistic ideals. Published in 1516, it was published while the Roman Catholic Church was in dominance. Did this book bring More into scrutiny by Catholics?

The book begins with a dialogue with the traveler, who has supposedly seen this “no-place”, where everything is perfect. The people, for instance, despise gold. It serves no purpose, except for ornamentation, and they aren’t proud or vain, and so think such ornamentation is a sign of servitude, and for their slaves and little children only. Yet, we are told they fill their houses with this useless metal. We’ll see just why. Continue reading