Summary of Francis Bacon Of Studies
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Francis Bacon examines the benefits and effects of studies, maintaining that when studies are balanced by experience, diverse studies may help counteract personal imperfections. Bacon proposes that study may be done for three purposes: for one’s own entertainment, such as reading book on a favorite author, to impress others and bring attention to oneself. Too much study may be considered a downfall, as the individual studying may be considered by others to be self-indulgent or even lazy if they appear to be studying and not much else. Just to do what books tell you to do and nothing else is characteristic of an academic/bookish individual. Studying alone is insufficient; learning must also be accompanied by real life experience, as they are counter-balances of one another.
Abilities are strengthened and capabilities balanced by studies. Cunning individuals regard studies with contempt because concepts learned from books might thwart their devious goals; unpretentious individuals admire studies because they themselves may have had little opportunity for study, and an astute individual makes good use of studies and knowledge gained by studying as a tool to glean more information. Study and take time to meditate on the information learned rather than taking what is learned as gospel, or arguing about the information, even discussing it. Studying makes people complete, discussion makes a prepared person, and writing makes an exact person by communicating well.
Study is a private activity which people engage in when they are alone or in the privacy of their homes. It sharpens our intellect helping us to judge things soundly. It helps us to go about our life’s business in a more capable way. It enables the learned men, who have studied extensively, to critically examine issues, and arrive at the right conclusion. They can garner data, facts and arguments or against a particular view rationally. Over-consumption in studies leads to undesirable consequences. Setting aside long hours in a day to study will make a man lazy. Overuse of the wisdom to analyze ordinary common place issues may make the man appear pretentious.
The aim of reading and acquiring knowledge must not be to aggressively refute others views or accept the writer’s views. It should also not be to engage in pointless discussion and argumentation. Studying should enable us to weigh facts and analyze them rationally. Discussing with others about the contents of a book imparts special practical skills to the reader. Writing removes all the residual weaknesses and ignorance from the person and enables him to remember the contents of a book. So, writing helps to memorize facts. Wit is a god-given gift. It is present in everybody. It can be sharpened by selective studying. If a person does not have the ability to perceive, he will be benefited by studying school men as it trains mental ability and develops the art of expression. If a person is unable to garner facts and manipulate them to put across his views convincingly, studying law will help him. Every deficiency of mind can be addressed by appropriate reading.