Subtle Persuasions: The Memory of Bodily Experience as a Rhetorical Device in Francis Bacon’s Parliamentary Speeches

  • Daniel DerrinEmail author
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 15)


Francis Bacon’s parliamentary speeches have barely been studied in comparison with his other works. Their rhetorical brilliance, and what that reveals of their creator’s understanding of human psychology, offers an important angle on our wider conceptions of Bacon’s abilities as a communicator and propagator of ideas. I propose to look in particular at the rhetorical uses to which Bacon puts remembered bodily experience in his speeches. How does he evoke memories of bodily experiences to be mentally reconstructed by his audiences? How can we link the purposive context of a speech with the rhetorical skills Bacon deploys on that occasion? In attempting to answer these questions I pursue a rhetorical angle on conjunctions of mind and body in Bacon’s England.


Francis Bacon Rhetoric Memory Speeches Parliament 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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