IDOLA SPECUS: .IDOLS OF THE DEN
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, As Far Back as his Grandfather, 1797-98. Plate 39 of Los Caprichos. Engraving/aquatint.
The idols of the den are those of each individual. For everybody (in addition to the errors common to the race of man) has his own individual den or cavern, which intercepts and corrupts the light of nature; either from his own peculiar and singular disposition, or from his education and intercourse with others, or from his reading, and the authority acquired by those whom he reverences and admires, or from the different impressions produced on the mind, as it happens to be preoccupied and predisposed, or equable and tranquil, and the like: so that the spirit of man (according to its several dispositions) is variable, confused, and as it were actuated by chance; and Heraclitus said well that men search for knowledge in lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620) Basil Montague, ed. and trans. The Works, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Parry & MacMillan, 1854), 343-71. Aphorism 42.