A NEW FORM OF KNOWLEDGE: EXPERIENTIA LITERATA
Abstract. In this paper, I assess Francis Bacon’s methodological considerations on the process of experimentation in order to show that experiments and experimentation have a productive role in his scientific inquiry. By looking at the structure of the problems selected for investigation, and at the ways they are addressed in the History of the Winds, I emphasize some of the epistemic functions of the experimentation process: the generation of new unknown effects, direct and essential contribution to conceptual innovation, the extension of the domain of research, and the pinning down of the essential factors for producing the particular effect/phenomenon that is under study.
Keywords: Francis Bacon, experientia literata, History of the Winds, experiment, natural history, methodology