Washington Metro Objectivism Discussion (WMOD)

                    May 21 1997 Meeting

                  Baconian Objectivism?

                      By David Saum

     Suppose that you were asked to name a controversial philosopher
who worked outside the philosophic establishment, whose nonfiction
works proposed a revolution in objectivity, and who dramatized these
ideas in an influential utopian novel.  Ayn Rand would certainly come
to mind, but this is also a description of Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
who is now known more for his aphorisms than his
philosophy.  This talk will suggest that Bacon deserves more
consideration by Objectivists because he was the fountainhead of the
Enlightenment, and we may be able to learn from his successful strategy
for nurturing the seeds of objectivity in Western civilization.

  An overview  of  Bacon's life and intellectual times will provide
the context from which to appreciate his revolutionary ideas.  Three
major themes of Bacon's work will be examined:

a. "Knowledge is power" - Bacon attacked the sterile argumentation 
of the Scholastics and invited other thinkers to join his cause who shared
a desire for human betterment by providing useful knowledge, rather
than win personal fame.

b. Method Versus System - Bacon proposed a primary focus on the
method of thought, rather than systems of ideas. He saw knowledge
as a cooperative enterprise, with each thinker building those before him.
His novel, The New Atlantis, dramatizes this vision.

c. Tools of Objectivity - Bacon analyzed the problem of objectivity
in his famous account of the "idols" that prevented man from achieving
objective knowledge of the world.

   The talk will then consider how despite the flaws in Bacon's 
proposed methodology, he was very successful in moving the men
who moved the world.  Finally, the talk will conjecture what Bacon
would think about contemporary Objectivism.

                            Branden Tapes

All the WMOD tape copies of Nathaniel Branden's "Objectivism: 
Past & Future"  have been sold, but you can still get the tapes from
the California Institute for Applied Objectivism.  The price for the
three-tape set is $20, plus $5 shipping on mail orders.  Each set
contains a one-tape lecture and a two-tape Q&A period,
for a total of well over three hours of Nathaniel Branden. To order a 
copy of the set, mail your check for $25 (along with a note that
you are ordering Branden's 11/23/96 lecture) to the following address:

California Institute for Applied Objectivism
8721 Santa Monica Boulevard, Box 225
Los Angeles, CA  90069

         When and Where is the WMOD Meeting?

Join us on Wednesday May 21.  You can either join us for
dinner at 7 pm and/or for the discussion at 8:15 pm at the
Fortune Chinese Restaurant at Baileys  Xroads, VA on Route 7
between 7 Corners and Columbia Pike (5900  Leesburg Pike
703/998-8888). You can take METRO to the West Falls  Church
stop and then take METRO buses 29A or 29B East on Route 7
toward Baileys Xroads. The Fortune is on this route. After
the meeting we can give you a ride back to a METRO station.
WMOD has arranged for a $15 fixed price dinner (including
tax and tip).  Or you can order from the menu.  Please RSVP
to WMOD (703) 820-7696 before noon Wednesday 5/21 so that we
can tell the restaurant how many tables to set up.

                      DC AREA CALENDAR

Institute for Objectivist Studies 1997 Summer Seminar

*7/5-13 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.
Contact http://ios.org, ios@ios.org, or phone 914/471-6100.

Future of Freedom Foundation

  The Vienna Coffee Club
  (6 pm dinner and talk $20, 7:30 talk only $5, at the Sheraton
  Premier Hotel, Rt 7 and Dulles Tollway, RSVP 703/934-6101.

*5/22: Richard M. Ebeling, prof of econ at Hillsdale College
on "The Lost Papers of Ludwig von Mises: Their Discovery and

IOS and Cato Institute

 *10/4: 40th Anniversary of Atlas Shrugged, at the Renaissance
Washington Hotel in Washington DC.    

               WMOD Contact Information

The WMOD newsletter is $10/yr,  email newsletter is free.

Contact: Dave Saum
PO Box 8007
Falls Church, VA 22041
Email: DSaum at infiltec.com, Phone: 703/820-7696, FAX: 703/671-9350
Web: http://www.infiltec.com/wmod.htm

----------- "Sapere aude" (dare to know) -------------------

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