Roger Bacon (ca. 1214/20 – post 1292)

In a nutshell

Roger Bacon was an English philosopher and scientist famous for his interest in special sciences (especially, medicine, astrology, and alchemy) and criticism of the Scholastic method. An advocate of a profound reform of Latin knowledge, Bacon’s works are focused on natural philosophy, often considered as the theoretical ground of natural sciences. His early Parisian production delves into Aristotle and offers a fundamental point of reference to understand Bacon’s philosophical stances in his later works – which are often assumed without being made explicit.

Main stances

– universal hylomorphism
– plurality of substantial forms
– plurality of specific matters
– radiation of species as main dynamic of natural change
– radical realism about universals

Fundamental readings on hylomorphism

– T. Crowley, Roger Bacon: The Problem of the Soul in his Philosophical Commentaries.  (Louvain and Dublin: Éditions de l’Institut supérieur de philosophie, 1950).

– P. Bernardini and A. Rodolfi (eds.), Roger Bacon’s Communia Naturalium. A 13th Century Philosopher’s Workshop (Florence: SISMEL, 2014).

Texts currently included in the hylomorphic library

Questiones supra libros Prime philosophie Aristotelis (= Questions on Metaphysics: OHI 10), excerpts.

Questiones supra libros octo Physicorum Aristotelis (= Questions on Physics: OHI 13), excerpts.