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When it comes to studying or reading in particular Bacon also believes that it is more important for a man (or woman) to weigh and consider what they read rather than to necessarily believe or take for granted what has been read. Similarly do not read just for the sake of discourse as society may like a well-read person. However they may not necessarily like the ideas of the person. When it comes to reading a person should also only read what is needed. They should not waste their time reading entire books if there is no need for it. The reading of a book till its conclusion should be left to specialists who need the information. For the majority of people a little reading on something will suffice. Too much knowledge is not to be welcomed by Bacon. One can learn more from a chapter in a book than having any need to read the entire book. Particularly if one’s reasoning is that discourse is the goal. A person will only end up confusing others should they wish to discuss an idea with others when others may have not read the entire book. Similarly with those who like to talk to others about their knowledge. It is an effort to follow an individual when one has not engaged with the subject matter and the individual is enthused. For their own self-worth and vanity.
Bacon also argues that ‘reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.’ Therefore should a man write a little he will need to have a great memory in order to memorize all that he has not written and should the individual converse little he will need to have a present wit in order to fill up the inevitable gaps in his abilities to share knowledge. And if a man only reads a little he will need cunning to seem to know what he does not know. In reality there has to be a balance or those who consider themselves learned may be judged by others to be foolish and as such may find themselves ignored by society. A goal that no man would cherish. For to be ignored or isolated from society ensures any knowledge that has been acquired will not be passed on. Leaving the individual to have no recourse but to continue studying or acquiring knowledge in private and alone.
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If anything Bacon may be suggesting in the essay that anybody can learn it’s just a simple matter of having the right balance and knowing what to learn. It is pointless leaning something that is known by few if one wants to engage in conversations with others. Yet knowing the information may be a delight to the individual and this in itself may suffice. Knowing that they know something that few know. This may sooth an individual’s ego sufficiently. Again it is better to seek a productive and balanced approach when it comes to studying. Any type of study has its benefits but it is most productive when put into action. An educated man will live a more enjoyable life should he put into practice what he has learnt rather than using his knowledge as a tool to amuse himself and others. If anything Bacon may be suggesting that using education as a delight or an ornament is in fact a waste of an education.
McManus, Dermot. "Of Studies by Francis Bacon." The Sitting Bee. The Sitting Bee, 24 Apr. 2019. Web.