Novum Organum and Bacon's Idols

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In Novum Organum, Francis Bacon warns against "Idols...which have immigrated into men's minds from the various dogmas of philosophies and also from wrong laws of demonstration." He called these idols, Idols of the Theatre, in which he goes on to talk about how common errors in thinking keep people from arriving at the truth. Descartes, Galileo, and Montaigne are three historic figures whom have tried to fix these errors in thinking in their own writing.

Descartes was a noble man and tried very hard to see things in a different light from everyone else. In doing this he came up with four methods for viewing ideas. His first method is to remain faithful to the laws and customs of his country and his religion. In doing this he first abandoned all of his former opinions and prejudices, and promised himself to not follow promises that would restrict his ability to change his opinions at a later time. Descartes second method is to be stand behind his actions. He feels that anything is better than indecision, even a wrong answer. He sees that as a way to keep him from regretting and future indecision that he may have. His third method is to rule himself and not outside factors, to try and change his desires instead of the world. Happiness can be achieved if people stop trying to control external factors, and start focusing on our thoughts. This is because our thoughts can be controlled, but very little control over outside events. Much less disappointment will come if people stop trying to control such things. The fourth and final method is to choose the best possible job in life. He feels that doing something enjoyable and profitable at the same time will achieve happiness. These ideas are Descartes way of fighting what Bacon says is the way life goes. If everyone were to follow these methods society would be much brighter and happier.

Galileo is another great man that has gone against hat Bacon has stated at the Idols of the Theatre. In The...
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