A Blupete Biography Page

Bacon's Philosophy, #3 of
Francis Bacon: "The Secretary of Nature"

Francis Bacon's major contribution to philosophy was his application of induction, the approach used by modern science, rather than the a priori method of medieval scholasticism.

Up to and during Bacon's time there existed philosophies rooted not so much in reason but in pure faith; philosophies promoted by the church. [See Saint Anselm (1033-1109) and Thomas Aquinas' (1225-1274) and, more generally, the Scholastic School.] Bacon was "violently opposed to speculative philosophies and the syllogistic quibbling of the Schoolman ..., Bacon argued that the only knowledge of importance to man was empirically rooted in the natural world."

"There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms: this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried."
Thus, Bacon delineated the principles of the inductive thinking method, which, while as a method goes back to the times of Aristotle, constituted a breakthrough in the approach to science. It was just these kind of materialist theories that brought about the great discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo. Bacon could see that the only knowledge of importance to man was empirically rooted in the natural world; and that a clear system of scientific inquiry would assure man's mastery over the world.5



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Peter Landry