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By Richard T. Gray

The learn offers an intensive research of Kafka's aphoristic writings, analyzing them in ter

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In other words, system cannot exist prior to the establishing of facts, but must be constructed "after the fact," i. e. in accordance with perceived facts. Here we discover in Bacon's theory the same interplay between particulars and abstraction which characterized the hermeneutical interaction of legal maxim and individual case. Bacon, in short, does not attack systems per se, rather he opposes all forms of dogmatism, of Francis Bacon, quoted by Brian Vickers, "The Aphorism," Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose, p.

23 The "didactic" method states a conclusion which is to be unquestioningly accepted; the "initiative" method presents an idea or hypothesis which begs examination. The initiative method, which Bacon aligns with the aphoristic procedure, corresponds to the open attitude of discovery which Bacon demands from the empirical scientist. The aphoristic investigator initiates a search for truth, giving priority to this search itself, rather than to any prefigured conclusion. Three qualities of the Baconian aphoristic model, to sum up, were of seminal importance for the development of the German aphorism: 1) Bacon's emphasis on the freedom of human wit, and the role of creative subjectivity in the "advancement" of knowledge; 2) closely related to this, the priority afforded empirical, unprejudiced observation over abstract, a priori conception and systematization, thus emphasizing the individual experience 21 22 23 Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersieben, Zur Dialektik der Seele, 36th ed.

26 dogmatic system and its subsequent flexibility: the aphorism allows for an isolated registering of "facts," without forcing these isolated facts into a rigid configuration from the outset. "14 This flexibility in application is predicated on the combinatory freedom left to the human mind when "knowledge" is mediated in unconnected fragments. The aphorism, as fragmentary mode of expression, is more adequate to an honest, undogmatic search for truth. The implications of Bacon's defense of the aphoristic presentation of knowledge are profound and must be examined in detail - especially since the Baconian model exerted a formative influence on the German aphoristic tradition through the figure of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.

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