Superstition, Idolatry and the Advancement of Learning.

From the Brotherhood of Light to the Solomon’s House


  • Dana Jalobeanu Institute for Research of the University of Bucharest, Social Sciences Division



In this article, I offer a survey of Bacon’s use of the term superstition, tracing the evolution of his views on the matter, as well as the articulation of what I call a “problem of su- perstition.” The problem of superstition regards the discipline of assent, but also the formation of a certain capacity of distinguishing truth from “superstition and impostures.” In his early writings, Bacon suggested that certain forms of knowledge can cure superstition and entitle a select group to become “sons of science.” I claim that Bacon abandoned this solution. Instead, in his late writings, the recipe from keeping superstition at bay is based on collaborative prac- tices of what I will call “externalizing assent”. I show how such mechanisms of externalizing assent are vividly illustrated in Bacon’s description of the ranks and functions of Salomon’s House, the blueprint institution for the production of knowledge.




How to Cite

Jalobeanu, D. (2022). Superstition, Idolatry and the Advancement of Learning.: From the Brotherhood of Light to the Solomon’s House. Lexicon Philosophicum: International Journal for the History of Texts and Ideas, (9), 11–32.