Sir Francis Bacon



Sir Francis Bacon


Sir Francis Bacon was born January 22, 1561. He died April 9,
1626. He was an English essayist, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher . He had a
major influence on the philosophy of science. When he was 12 years old, he
began studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1576 he entered Gray\'s Inn to
pursue a career in law. He was first elected in 1584.

Bacon\'s opposition to royal tax measures would probably have brought an
end to his political advancement, but he had the support of the Earl of Essex,
whose prosecution for treason he later managed. He was knighted in 1603 after
the succession of James I. Bacon and he became solicitor-general in 1609,
attorney-general in 1613, lord keeper of the great seal in 1617, and lord
chancellor in 1618; he was also created Baron of Verulam I 1618, and Viscount St.
Albans in 1621. Bacon retained James\'s favor by steadfast defense of royal
prerogative, but in 1621 he was found guilty of accepting bribes and was removed
from his office. Retiring to Gorhambury, he devoted himself to writing and
scientific work.

Philosophically, Bacon wrote marks such as the Instauratio Magna (Great
Restoration), setting forth his concepts for the restoration of humankind to
mastery over nature. It was intended to contain six parts: first a
classification of sciences; second a new inductive logic; third a gathering of
empirical and experimental facts; fourth examples to show the effectiveness of
his new approach; fifth generalization derivable from natural history; and a new
philosophy that would be a complete science of nature.

Bacon completed only two parts, however, the Advancement of Learning in
1605, later expanded as De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum (On the Dignity
and Growth of Sciences, 1620); and the Novum Organum (The New Organon, 1620),
which was to replace Aristotle\'s Organon. Sciences were under the general
headings of history, poetry, and philosophy. Their culmination was an inductive
philosophy of nature, in which proposed to find the natural laws, of bodily
action. To this end, he devised so-called tables of induction designed to
discover such forms with the goal of mastery over nature.

Although Bacon was not a great scientist, he gave impetus to the
development of modern inductive science. His works were held in esteem by
Robert Boyle, Robert Hook, Sir Isaac Newton, and Thomas Hobbes. In the
eighteenth century, Voltaire and Diderot considered him the father of modern
sentence. Other works of Bacon\'s include his essays from 1597-1625 and the New
Atlantis in 1627. So nineteenth century writers suggested that Bacon was the
real author of Shakespeare\'s plays, but this theory is discounted by most
scholars.


Bibliography:

World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago: Field Enterprises Educational
Corporation, 1962. Volume B Pp. 18.
Wegman, Richard J., Medical and Health Encyclopedia, New York: Ferguson
Publishing Company, 1992, Pp. 491-492.