The 4 Idols: For Philosophy

“An idol is an image, in this case held in the mind, which receives veneration but is without substance in itself. Bacon did not regard idols as symbols, but rather as fixations.”

-Addresses all of the errors, illusions, and corrupts which mentally prevents many people from having a true understanding of nature and reality. The four idols:

  1. Tribe
  2. Cave
  3. Market
  4. Theatre

Tribe (source 1): AKA Natural tendency of human nature. Bacon says idols of tribe are the errors, and false notions that we do everyday because these things are inherited in our nature and our mind.  Ex: Over exaggerating, over-analyzing, distortions, assumptions.

Tribe (source 2): “Men gazing at the stars perceive the order of the world, but are not content merely to contemplate or record that which is seen. They extend their opinions, investing in the starry heavens with innumerable imaginary qualities. In a short time these imaginings gain dignity and are mingled with the facts until the compounds become inseparable.”

Cave (source 1): Individual tastes, habits, and prejudices.

Cave (source 2): “An individual who dedicates his mind to some particular branch of learning becomes possessed by his own peculiar interest, and interprets all other learning according to the colors of his own devotion. The chemist sees chemistry in all things, and the courtier ever present at the rituals of the court, unduly emphasize the significances of king and princes.”

Market (source 1): Errors and natural tendencies of every individual who uses certain languages such as profanity or slang, when communicating or in argument. When we use the wrong type of context it creates the opposite approach of what you actually really meant to say.

Market (source 2): ” False significance bestowed upon words. The constant impact of words variously used without attention to their true meaning only in true condition the understanding and breed fallacies. Words often betray their own purpose, obscuring the very thoughts they are designed to express.”

Theatre (source 1): Fasle learning from scientific beliefs, theories, and religion and our system.

Theatre (source 2): “When false philosophies have been cultivated and have attained a wide sphere of dominion in the world of the intellect they are no longer questioned. False superstructures are raised on false foundations, and in the end systems barren of merit parade their grandeur on the stage of the world.”



Source 1: A prezi presentation on the internet.

Source 2:


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