Why bacon is better with books. How to get out of illusion and to the truth.
What I will try to do is legitimate learning from reflecting on the books that I read. This is something that Francis Bacon wouldn't have agreed with, but I hope to win him over.
Francis Bacon said that knowledge doesn’t come from books it comes from doing things. (His big thing was that we can't be sure that we aren't falling into illusion if we don't have any direct experience, learning through observation)
In a lecture Mao Zedong gave his comrades two examples of knowing something. One person can cook following a recipe in a book, a second person who has much experience cooking can do it intuitively. The first person is literate the second person can cook
In an interview with Jay Leno Will Smith said, “Whatever you are going through someone has gone through it before and written a book about it.” - Will Smith isn't so focused on avoiding illusion, but he does bring up the point that we can learn from other people. Put more eloquently: John Stuart Mill in On Liberty "If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth produced by its collision with error." - A person can get to the truth by talking about it with other people and comparing opinions.
Relationship between Experience and Discourse
To take the example of the person who can cook, that person reflected and discussed the use of spices and the cooking temperature with his fellow learners. A person experiences something but there is no learning without reflection on that experience. Theory is the discourse of that reflection on experience. The cook is backed by booth experience and theory.
This leads me to the title for my Blog. My discourse on theory occurs between talking to my friends, and reading (a one sided conversation). This is where I will round out the one-sided conversation of reading. This is my talking back to the authors I read, summarizing what I think they are saying and how that relates to my reflections on topics. This is discourse.