Francis Bacon on Ramon Llull (1605)

XVII [. . . . ]

(14) There hath been also laboured and put in practice a method, which is not a lawful method, but a method of imposture: which is, to deliver knowledges in such manner as men may speedily come to make a show of learning, who have it not. Such was the travail of Raymundus Lullius in making that art which bears his name; not unlike to some books of typocosmy, which have been made since; being nothing but a mass of words of all arts, to give men countenance, that those which use the terms might be thought to understand the art; which collections are much like a fripper's or broker's shop, that hath ends of everything, but nothing of worth.

SOURCE: Bacon, Francis. The Advancement of Learning (1605), edited by Henry Morley (London: Cassell, 1889).

We must not omit that some men, rather ostentatious than learned, have labored about a certain method not deserving the name of a true method, as being rather a kind of imposture, which may nevertheless be acceptable to some busy minds. This art so scatters the drops of the sciences, that any pretender may misapply it for ostentation, with some appearance of learning. Such was the art of Lully, and such the typocosmia cultivated by some; for these are only a collection of terms of art heaped together, to the end that those who have them in readiness may seem to understand the arts whereto the terms belong. Collections of this kind are like a piece-broker’s shop, where there are many slips, but nothing of great value. And thus much for the science which we call traditive prudence.

SOURCE: Bacon, Francis. The Advancement of Learning and Novum Organum. Rev. ed., with a Special Introduction by James Edward Creighton (New York: The Colonial Press, 1900), p. 176.

Note: typocosmy (archaic): The representation of the world.

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