Francis Bacon's Four Idols
The Four Idols, from My G406 Slides
Idols of the Tribe. Misleading ideas inherent in the mind of man. Not understanding statistics. Not thinking logically.
Idols of the Cave. Misleading ideas in the mind of an individual due to his temperament, education, etc. Thinking like an economist (“maximize surplus”), or an epidemiologist (“save lives”), or an engineer (“make it strong”) or a modern American. Plato’s Republic’s Cave Allegory.
Idols of the Marketplace. Misleading ideas arising from thinking in terms of words instead of reality. Freedom of Speech, but if you disagree with it, you don’t think of it as Speech. “Essential services” during an epidemic.
Idols of the Theatre. Misleading ideas propounded by learned men and accepted by everyone else without question. The idea that bleeding cures illnesses.