If we were to ‘make judgments’ wholly by the rules of abstract principles, we would feel terribly constrained.
Reason is the servant of the passions, but a persuasive and stubborn one.
This is why we need Classical Humanism in the twenty-first century.
In this portion of the essay, Bacon addresses problems with the three categories introduced at the outset. Here, it would be prudent to remember words of wisdom from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” Using studies for ornament in the present day is perhaps best exemplified by the postmodernists. Quite frankly, his writing makes him sound like a pretentious hipster. Love of sounding intelligent (especially in cases where there is nothing beyond the façade) leads to intellectual conceit.
Such teachers do not justice to the field by taxing their students’ minds with memorizing little bits of trivia.
Focusing on general themes as well as having students read the classics and write as often as possible are the best ways to promote individual excellence and instill in them a sense of awe and appreciation for the field.
Reading for pleasure allows one to develop an appreciation for great writing.
Reading for ornament allows one to think and speak with greater clarity.
A close reading of the first line reveals, not just a trinity, but the verb ‘serve.’ That is, studies are in the service of these options.
Studies have instrumental value in aiding those who read for enjoyment, those who wish to improve the quality of their manner of speaking, and those who wish to improve the value they bring to the marketplace.