Rosse, Jonathan Joseph. “Bacon's Doctrine of Idols”. MA, Boston College, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:104937.
The following sketch attempts to look at the ways in which Francis Bacon helped to bring about the modern age by presenting a system of skepticism, in the form of his doctrine of idols, which initiated the break away from classical philosophy and Christian theology and made room for a new, secular science. By looking at Bacon’s peculiar and esoteric writing style as well as his detractors’ assessments of him, I show not only what they got wrong about Bacon but also and more importantly that many of their criticisms of Bacon’s role in the history of science and philosophy depend on his very success in brining about a reformation of men’s minds. I show how far-reaching his doctrine of the idols is and how it initiated the trend in modern philosophy to create systems of skepticisms that are based on human reason’s self-criticism. Finally, I show how Bacon’s doctrine of idols led to his refutations not only of philosophical doctrines but of Christian theology as well.