Advertisement

Francis Bacon

Advertisement

Many of the thoughtful messages captured in images that are currently found on the internet, are usually mostly from great political philosophers, scientists and thinkers of history, such as Aristotle, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Francis Bacon.

Advertisement

Personal information

Advertisement
  • When was he born:  01/22/1561
  • Where he was born:  London, UK
  • When he died:  04/09/1626
  • Where he died:  London, UK

Who was Francis Bacon?

Francis Bacon is known for developing the inductive method and for being the founder of English empiricism . He was a philosopher as well as a politician, lawyer and writer. He devoted much of his life to ensuring that both parliament and the courts were alien to the will of the rulers.

Advertisement
  • Biography of Francis Bacon
  • Thought
  • Theory
  • Empiricism of Francis Bacon
  • Francis Bacon method
  • Importance
  • Plays
  • Francis Bacon quotes

Biography of Francis Bacon

The English philosopher Francis Bacon was born on January 22, 1561 , in the mansion on London’s Strand known as York House. As a child, he began his studies in science at Trinity College, Cambridge, an institution he left in 1576 to begin studying law at Gray’s Inn in London. In this institution, Francis Bacon brought out his abilities, which is why he was soon assigned to work as an attaché to the ambassador to France . It was not until 1579, motivated by the unexpected death of his father, that he returned to London and resumed his studies. After finishing these, he began a meteoric career, first as a lawyer and later as a magistrate. In 1592, at the age of 31, he was already part of the House of Commons, yes, thanks to the invaluable help of William Cecil, Baron Burghley, his uncle.

Thanks to Robert Devereux, who was the second Earl of Essex, he managed to access the position of the queen’s lawyer . In 1603 James I acceded to the throne of England and since Francis Bacon was one of his favorite scholars he began to receive increasingly high positions. In just over 11 years he went from being a royal lawyer (in 1607) to  Lord Chancellor (in 1618).

If something should be noted about Francis Bacon, it is that throughout his career he had two main objectives, on the one hand he tried to reform the laws so that the parliament and the courts were completely independent and the rulers could not manipulate them at will, for another side sought it called “reform of knowledge . ” This consisted of classifying the different branches of human knowledge according to the faculty of the mind that it made use of, this was memory, reason or imagination. Thus he produced the ” Instauratio Magna” or “The Great Restoration” and other writings such as “The advance of knowledge . 

Following the ideas that Aristotle proclaimed in which he indicated that the truth must be reached through experience and inductive reasoning , Francis Bacon developed his own inductive method , which he expounded incompletely in his most important work, the  Novum organum scientiarum (1620 ). This method, which started from the analysis of the different particular cases of a phenomenon, was to provide a tool in order to analyze the experience and carry out the subsequent induction.

Francis Bacon finally passed away on April 9, 1626 in Highgate, an ancient town that now belongs to London.

Currently, Francis Bacon is considered the first representative of English empiricism . This philosophical current that John Locke , David Hume and George Berkeley would later develop , proclaims that the source of knowledge is none other than experience.

Thought

At first he devised a large-scale project that consisted of refounding science . This initially unsuccessful project became the  Novum organum , a work in which he left Aristotle’s deductive method behind to develop an inductive method in which scientific knowledge and experience were essential.

The inductive methodology developed by Francis Bacon was based on the observation and analysis of individual facts. The objective is that thanks to the abstraction, the laws that explain the facts can be found. It should be clarified that, in reality, only the most significant cases were analyzed. As a consequence of this, the induction could not be complete and the law obtained could not be considered universal. Despite this, it was achieved that scientific knowledge was continuous and progressive.

We can conclude that all the thought of Francis Bacon can be summed up with the phrase “knowing is power . 

Theory

Francis Bacon’s goal was based on taking advantage of the benefits that the technique provides to make people rich and happy in the future . Starting from this, Bacon developed his work Idols , a critique in which he shows how the imagination falls into certain prejudices and hinders the path to knowledge .

Francis Bacon lists four Idols, which are:

The idols of the tribe

These prejudices, which are typical of all people, are produced as a consequence of a bad perception of reality through our senses. An example of this is when we observe an object at a great distance because it will appear smaller than it really is.

The idols of the cave

In this case, the prejudices are unique to each person. Depending on the experiences that have been lived, everything that is habitual will be considered to be true, while what happens exceptionally will be considered false.

Forum idols

The educational system is the main responsible for this type of prejudice that we can find both in society and in language.

The idols of the theater

The authority and fame that certain people have are what generate this prejudice.

In this work Francis Bacon shows that knowledge is continually altered by prejudices, beliefs and assumptions . Seeing this, he wonders if it would be possible to avoid possible errors in reasoning by proceeding to eliminate these alterations. For which he concludes that it would be necessary to proceed to the individualization , so that the idols are eliminated. It also emphasizes that premeditation is not a sample of reality but of the person’s own knowledge .

Empiricism of Francis Bacon

If Francis Bacon is famous for something, it is for his scientific method , which was based on induction. Thanks to this he became the founder of modern empiricism. In his work Novum organum scientiarum , he provides tools that will lead to replace those provided by Aristotle in his Organon . Thus he replaces the deductive method by the inductive method. This is the beginning of empiricism based mainly on experience, perception and knowledge . The experience is not only the origin, but it contains the knowledge.

Francis Bacon method

Francis Bacon’s method is known as the inductive method . This is based on finding the universal law of observed phenomena , thanks to the experience and scientific knowledge that we have.

Importance

Francis Bacon was of great importance both in politics and in philosophy and research. His inductive method earned him to be considered the father of English empiricism .

Plays

Among the most important works of Francis Bacon we can find:

  • The new Atlantis.
  • Idols
  • Instauratio Magna.
  • Essays on morals and politics.
  • The advance of knowledge.
  • Novum organum scientiarum.

Francis Bacon quotes

  • “Start doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We only have this moment, shining like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake “
  • “Monuments of ingenuity survive monuments of power”
  • “It is the bad discoverers who think that there is no land when they cannot see beyond the sea”

Leave a Comment