*opening words of Of Truth, 1625 essay by Francis Bacon.
Aldous Huxley’s book Jesting Pilate took its epigraph, “What is Truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer”, from Bacon’s essay Of Truth.
” “Of Truth” is the opening essay in the final edition of the philosopher, statesman and jurist Francis Bacon’s “Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral” (1625). In this essay, as associate professor of philosophy Svetozar Minkov points out, Bacon addresses the question of “whether it is worse to lie to others or to oneself–to possess truth (and lie, when necessary, to others) or to think one possesses the truth but be mistaken and hence unintentionally convey falsehoods to both oneself and to others” (“Francis Bacon’s ‘Inquiry Touching Human Nature,'” 2010). In “Of Truth,” Bacon argues that people have a natural inclination to lie to others: “a natural though corrupt love, of the lie itself.” “.