Same Spirit, Different Structure: Francis Bacon on Inanimate and Animate Matter

Doina-Cristina Rusu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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This article argues that for Francis Bacon there is only one type of spiritual matter, which acquires different qualities and performs different functions within bodies depending on the structure it has. In order to prove this hypothesis, the paper takes as a case study the process of spontaneous generation, where there is no pre-existent spirit. as contrary to the case of the generation out of seed. For Bacon, tangible matter is prepared to produce certain species, leaving to the spirits the function of shaping what lies in matter in potency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-458
Number of pages15
JournalEarly Science and Medicine
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2018


  • Francis Bacon
  • vital spirit
  • animate and inanimate matter
  • spontaneous generation

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