Hello, I am looking for someone to write an article on Sir Francis Bacon. It needs to be at least 500 words. Sir Francis Bacon lived during a pivotal age in history. His life spanned the last gasps of the Middle Ages and the first breaths of the European Renaissance. He earned titles and honors for much of his life. He was a precocious learner, entering university at the age of twelve, where he became a favorite in the court of Queen Elizabeth. His accomplishments span the arts and sciences. He was a poet, producing several well-known sonnets for his wife, and a politician. He worked as a diplomat while traveling on the continent and personally delivered diplomatic papers to the Queen herself on several occasions. As impressive as these early accomplishments are, Sir Francis Bacon is perhaps best known for his contributions to philosophy and science (Zagorin 1999). His vision of the new sciences has done much to contribute to the rise of modern thought.
Bacons thoughts on science are closely associated with those of Galileo. A benefit of the early Renaissance was the rediscovery of the writings of those living in antiquity. With the new reading of Galileo, Sir Francis Bacon rejected the form of speculative reasoning that dominated the Middle Ages. Bacon believed that if you wanted to really know about something in nature, you needed to approach your study in a methodical manner, gathering real data that was observable and recordable. He states in his book The Great Insaturation, “There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flees from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms [laws]…The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars. This is the true way but yet untried (Brinton 1973).”
Bacon believed that if you wanted to understand soil or rocks, you would gather many different samples or specimens, study them and then let the facts of your study form new ideas about the natural world. Bacon melded his ideas with those of Galileo, formalizing them into a general theory of inductive reasoning that became known as empiricism (McKay 1992). Empiricism is the backbone of the scientific method utilized by students and scientists universally in modern times.
Sir Francis Bacon believed that this new approach to knowing and understanding the natural world would radically change societies. He believed firmly that this new knowledge would give humans greater control over the natural elements resulting in rapid innovation. As a result, Bacon predicted that empiricism would make individuals and nations wealthy and powerful. His advocacy for empiricism excited individuals in the existing academic communities. Now there was a new motivation for the scientific study of the natural world. Individuals began to immerse themselves in the study of mathematics, astronomy and the natural sciences. As these individuals collaborated, a new society came into being, namely the scientific community.
Sir Francis Bacon was disappointed in the lack of impact empiricism had on the world during his lifetime. He thought that change would come more rapidly than it did. Little did he know that he was the beginning of a remarkable period in history. Looking back, David Hume wrote of Sir Francis Bacons contribution to science and philosophy that, “…reckoning from Thales to Socrates, the space of time is nearly equal to that betwixt my Lord Bacon and some late philosophers in England, who have begun to put the science of man on new footing…[these] improvements in reason and philosophy can only be owing to a land of toleration and liberty (Berlin, 1984).” Hume therefore recognizes that, just a Thales laid the foundation for philosophy in ancient Greece that Socrates built upon, so to did Bacon establish a foundation for the later English philosophers such as Hume, Locke and Berkeley.
Sir Francis Bacons advocacy for empirical knowing is profound. This approach to science ahs resulted in medicines and technology that has saved countless lives and improved the lives of still countless more.
Berlin, Isaiah. The Age of Enlightenment: 18th Century Philosophers. New York: Meridian, 1984
Brinton, Crane, John Christopher and Robert Wolff. Civilization in the West. New Jersey: Perntice-Hall, 1973
McKay, John, Bennett Hill and John Buckler. A History of World Societies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992
Zagorin, Perez. Francis Bacon.