Bacon has warned us that selfishness should be checked, in the context of a prince-servant relationship.

Of course he is dead but here "has" is used.

Why? He warned us right? He warned us in the past many many years ago. Not recently.

2 Answers 2


In the humanities generally we regard old authors as still present through their works. You will rarely find a scholar or critic writing that “”Homer said” or “Shakespeare wrote”; it is almost always “Homer says” and “Shakespeare writes”. The same is true of scholarly writing: “McCawley (1971) distinguishes four varieties of categories of use of the perfect.”

This is not the case in the social sciences; the APA style sheet calls for even very recent papers to be referred to in the past.

  • is it like Bacon said in the past and we still feel the effect of it so the past and the present are connected in this case?
    – user8153
    Aug 22, 2014 at 16:22
  • @user08742 Sort of ... it's more like Bacon wrote it and his work is still living for us when we read it. Aug 22, 2014 at 17:58

Please note that the "Present perfect" tense says about either past and present.
For instance, I may say (many times) :

"You should wash your hands before eating!"

and some time later, I see you're eating with dirty hands, so I tell you:

"I've told you many times that you should wash your hands before eating, but you never take care!"

Obviously I've told you something in the past, but I use the Present perfect to this aim. Indeed the verb has happened in the past but the effect still exists.

You must log in to answer this question.