Francis Bacon et Blaise Pascal.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) avait bien vu que "La vérité sort plus facilement de l’erreur que de la confusion". Encore plus profondément Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) a pensé que "L'erreur n'est pas le contraire de la vérité, elle est l'oubli de la vérité contraire".

Francis Bacon a pensé la Vérité de diverses manières:

"Le doute est l'école de la vérité." [à comparer à Cicéron: "En doutant, on atteint la vérité." ou à Descartes: "Dubium sapientiae initium. (Doubt is the origin of wisdom.)"]

"Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out."

"Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible."

"Beauty is the sensible image of the Infinite." / "There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion."

"We cannot command Nature, except by obeying her."

"It is impossible to love and to be wise."

"Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly."

"Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read."

"Wonder is the seed of knowledge."

"Ipsa scientia potestas est." - "Knowledge itself is power."

"It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself." [à comparer à Franz Kafka: "He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived."]

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."

"In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior." / "A man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." / "Celui qui s'applique à la vengeance garde fraîches ses blessures." / "La vengeance est une justice sauvage."

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

"There are two ways of spreading light.. to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."

"The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses." / "It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives."

"Calomnie hardiment, il en reste toujours quelque chose …" / "Slander boldly, something always sticks."

"A false friend is more dangerous than an open enemy." / "The folly of one man is the fortune of another."

"A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner."

"On tait tout à l'homme qui se tait; on lui rend son silence." / "Le silence est la vertu des sots."

"The punishing of wits enhances their authority."

"Il est plus sage de changer beaucoup de choses qu'une seule."

"It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear. And yet that commonly is the case of kings..."

D'autres pensées de Francis Bacon annoncent Blaise Pascal (

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is." (Francis Bacon)

"The worst men often give the best advice." (Francis Bacon)

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true." (Francis Bacon) [à comparer à Blaise Pascal: "C’est une maladie naturelle à l’homme de croire qu’il possède la vérité. Nous parvenons à nos croyances moins par des preuves que par l'attrait qu'exercent sur nous nos croyances.", et à Montesquieu: "Ce n'est pas l'esprit qui fait les opinions, c'est le cœur."] / à sa manière François de La Rochefoucauld va plus loin: "Notre amour-propre souffre plus impatiemment la condamnation de nos goûts que de nos opinions."

"There Are But Two Tragedies in Life. One is One's Inability to attain One's Heart's Desire. The Other Is To Have It!"

"A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other."

"Celui qui dit ce qu'il sait dit aussi ce qu'il ignore." / "If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

"Truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion."

Ces deux-là (Bacon et Pascal) en ont inspiré plus d'un, par exemple:

"Les convictions sont des ennemis de la vérité plus dangereux que les mensonges." (Friedrich Nietzsche)


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