The Philosophy of Self-Knowledge and Deception
Edited by Brent E. Cusher and Mark A. Menaldo
Chapter 6: The politics of dissimulation: Francis Bacon, self-knowledge, and the art of lies
This chapter provides a philosophical alternative to the ideal of authenticity in its examination of Francis Bacon’s account of dissimulation, its connection to self-knowledge, and its political implications. Bacon’s endorsement of dissimulation is premised on his epistemology of “The Idols,” which establishes that subjectivism mires the generality of human beings. Be this as it may, some individuals through circumstance and native capacities develop penetrating judgment, which allows them to escape subjectivism. This sort of mental clarity and gaining of self-knowledge is multifaceted, as the individual with penetrating judgment can be either theoretical or politic. The latter is a practical creature who defines his or her interests appropriately. In nearly all social circumstances, he or she must learn how to dissimulate. As paradoxical as it may initially appear, for Bacon the potential to learn the truth concerning any given situation is premised on an appropriate degree of dissimulation.
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