70 Most Memorable Francis Bacon Quotes on Knowledge and Study

We compiled some of the most famous Francis Bacon quotes; one of the philosopher, statesman, and essayist of the Renaissance period.

Bacon wrote on a wide range of topics, including politics, science, and history. Francis Bacon quotes often maxims or adages and still relevant today and provide insight in our life journey.

Short biography of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon was one of the most renowned figures in the history of philosophy. He is credited with being the father of empiricism, and his work had a profound influence on the development of modern science.

Bacon was born in London in 1561, and he studied at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He served as a member of Parliament and as Attorney General during the reign of King James I. Bacon’s philosophical views were shaped by his experience as a lawyer and politician, and he is best known for his advocacy of the scientific method.

He argued that true knowledge is based on actual experience and observation rather than theory. Bacon died in 1626, leaving behind a legacy that has continued to inspire philosophers and scientists for centuries. The following quotes by Francis Bacon reflect his views on knowledge on many different topics.

Francis Bacon quotes on writing

In his lifetime, Francis Bacon wrote a great deal about writing. He had opinions on nearly every aspect of the craft, from how to approach writing a book to the best way to edit one’s work. Here are some of the wisest things he had to say on the subject.

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”

“Who then to frail mortality shall trust But limns the water, or but writes in dust.”

“We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.”

“A forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out.”

“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not.”

Francis Bacon quotes on writing

“But I account the use that a man should seek of the publishing of his own writings before his death, to be but an untimely anticipation of that which is proper to follow a man, and not to go along with him.”

“Begin with the end in mind.”

“Write as if you were dying.”

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.”

“A man were better relate himself to a statue or picture than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.”

Francis Bacon quotes on nature

In his lifetime, Francis Bacon made many significant contributions to the world of philosophy. In particular, his thoughts on nature have proven to be very influential. He once said: “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” Check out other Francis Bacon quotes on nature:

“Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.”

“God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.”

“Let every student of nature take this as his rule, that whatever the mind seizes upon with particular satisfaction is to be held in suspicion.”

“As is the garden such is the gardener. A man’s nature runs either to herbs or weeds.”

“The breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand.”

Francis Bacon quotes on nature

“The nature of things betrays itself more readily under the vexations of art than in its natural freedom.”

“Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.”

“They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.”
Whether we’re exploring the physical world around us or the inner landscape of our own minds, there’s always more to learn and new horizons to discover. So let’s keep our eyes open and our minds open, and who knows what we might find?

“That which above all other yields the sweetest smell in the air is the violet.”

“There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.”

Francis Bacon quotes on love

“For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.”

“It is impossible to love and to be wise.”

“A man cannot speak to his son, but as a father; to his wife, but as a husband; to his enemy, but upon terms: whereas a friend may speak, as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person.”

“Nuptial love makes mankind; friendly love perfects it; but wanton love corrupts and debases it.”

“Why should a man be in love with his fetters, though of gold?”

Francis Bacon quotes on love and relationship

“Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.”

“He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.”

“The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or the wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.”

“The speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love.”

“There is in man’s nature a secret inclination and motion towards love of others, which, if it be not spent upon someone or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable, as it is seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind, friendly love perfecteth it, but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.”

“The stage is more beholding to love than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matter of comedies and now and then of tragedies; but in life it doth much mischief, sometimes like a Siren, sometimes like a Fury.”

Francis Bacon quotes on art

In his lifetime, Francis Bacon produced some of the most iconic images of 20th-century art. He is also responsible for some of the most memorable quotes on art. Here are just a few of Francis Bacon quotes on art:

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”

“Painting gave meaning to my life which without it would not have had.”

“Great art is deeply ordered. Even if within the order there may be enormously instinctive and accidental things, nevertheless they come out of a desire for ordering and for returning fact onto the nervous system in a more violent way.”

“You see, painting has now become, or all art has now become completely a game, by which man distracts himself. What is fascinating actually is, that it’s going to become much more difficult for the artist, because he must really deepen the game to become any good at all.”

“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”

Francis Bacon quotes on art

“Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence- a reconcentration…tearing away the veils, the attitudes people acquire of their time and earlier time. Really good artists tear down those veils.”

“The momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil.”

“I paint for myself. I don’t know how to do anything else, anyway. Also, I have to earn my living, and occupy myself.”

“Many secrets of art and nature are thought by the unlearned to be magical.”

“I don’t believe art is available; it’s rare and curious and should be completely isolated; one is more aware of its magic the more it is isolated.”

Francis Bacon quotes on study

Bacon has been called the father of modern science. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Scientific Method. Check out on some of best Francis Bacon quotes about study and education.

“The study of nature with a view to works is engaged in by the mechanic, the mathematician, the physician, the alchemist, and the magician; but by all as things now are with slight endeavour and scanty success.”

“Studies perfect nature and are perfected still by experience.”

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”
In his essay “Of Studies,” Bacon argues that studies serve four purposes: to delight, to inform, to reform, and to instruct. Delight comes from learning something new or interesting; information helps us make sense of the world; reform enables us to change our ways; and instruction teaches us how to live better lives.

“Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced; and lastly his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust.”

“If a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again.”

Francis Bacon quotes on study

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”

“The genius of any single man can no more equal learning, than a private purse hold way with the exchequer.”

“People usually think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and ingrained opinions, but generally act according to custom.”

“Disciples do owe their masters only a temporary belief, and a suspension of their own judgment till they be fully instructed.”

“Learning teaches how to carry things in suspense, without prejudice, till you resolve it.”

Francis Bacon quotes knowledge is power

Bacon’s views on knowledge were shaped by his experience as a lawyer and politician. He believed that knowledge was power, and that those who had it could use it to their advantage. Here are some of Francis Bacon quotes on knowledge:

“The essential form of knowledge is nothing but a representation of truth: for the truth of being and the truth of knowing are one, differing no more than the direct beam and the beam reflected.”

“Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted…but to weigh and consider.”

“Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.”

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

“I work for posterity, these things requiring ages for their accomplishment.”

“For knowledge, too, is itself power.”

“Knowledge is a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate.”

“Upon a given body to generate and superinduce a new nature or new natures is the work and aim of human power. To discover the Form of a given nature, or its true difference, or its causal nature, or fount of its emanation…this is the work and aim of human knowledge.”

“There is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom.”

“My praise shall be dedicated to the mind itself. The mind is the man, and the knowledge is the mind. A man is but what he knoweth. The mind is but an accident to knowledge, for knowledge is the double of that which is.”

Francis Bacon quotes on life

There are few people as quotable as Francis Bacon. The philosopher, statesman and scientist had a lot to say about life, and his words still resonate today. Here are some of the most memorable Francis Bacon quotes about life:

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”

“But men must know, that in this theatre of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.”

“Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.”

“Such philosophy as shall not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, or delectable speculation but shall be operative to the endowment and betterment of man’s life.”

“He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.”

“As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time.”

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”

“The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess; neither can angel nor man come in danger by it.”

“O life! An age to the miserable, a moment to the happy.”

“It is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way is not much about.”

Final thought

The Francis Bacon quotes discussed in this article show that he was a man ahead of his time. He had a deep understanding of human nature and was able to express himself in a way that is still relevant today. They are also a reminder that we should always be learning and growing, as Bacon did throughout his life.

We hope you enjoy with our collection of Francis Bacon quotes. Take some time again to look through all of the quotes in this article and find your favorite one. Then, make sure to keep it close by so that you can always remember the wisdom of Francis Bacon. Thanks for reading!

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