IDOLA TRIBUS: .IDOLS OF THE TRIBE
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Disparate Alegre (Merry Folly), 1819. Print from etching on copper plate and aquatint.
The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature, and the very tribe or race of man. For man's sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things. On the contrary, all the perceptions, both of the senses and the mind, bear reference to man, and not to the universe, and the human mind resembles those uneven mirrors, which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted, and distort and disfigure them.
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620) Basil Montague, ed. and trans. The Works, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Parry & MacMillan, 1854), 343-71. Aphorism 41.