- NAME: Francis Bacon
- OCCUPATION: Academic, Lawyer, Political Leader, Scientist, Academic Author
- BIRTH DATE: January 22, 1561
- DEATH DATE: April 09, 1626
- EDUCATION: Trinity College, Honourable Society of Gray's Inn
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, England
- AKA: 1st Viscount Saint Alban
- AKA: Sir Francis Bacon
- Full Name: Francis Bacon
Best Known For
Francis Bacon was an English Renaissance statesman and philosopher, best known for his promotion the scientific method.
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In 1621, Bacon became Viscount St. Albans.
In 1621, the same year that Bacon became Viscount St. Albans, he was accused of accepting bribes and impeached by Parliament for corruption. Some sources claim that Bacon was set up by his enemies in Parliament and the court faction, and was used as a scapegoat to protect the Duke of Buckingham from public hostility. Bacon was tried and found guilty after he confessed. He was fined a hefty 40,000 pounds and sentenced to the Tower of London, but,
fortunately, his sentence was reduced and his fine was lifted. After four days of imprisonment, Bacon was released, at the cost of his reputation and his long- standing place in Parliament; the scandal put a serious strain on 60-year-old Bacon's health.
Bacon remained in St. Alban's after the collapse of his political career. Retired, he was now able to focus on one of his other passions, the philosophy of science. From the time he had reached adulthood, Bacon was determined to alter the face of natural philosophy. He strove to create a new outline for the sciences, with a focus on empirical scientific methods—methods that depended on tangible proof—while developing the basis of applied science. Unlike the doctrines of Aristotle and Plato, Bacon's approach placed an emphasis on experimentation and interaction, culminating in "the commerce of the mind with things." Bacon's new scientific method involved gathering data, prudently analyzing it and performing experiments to observe nature's truths in an organized way. He believed that when approached this way, science could become a tool for the betterment of humankind.
Biographer Loren Eisley described Bacon's compelling desire to invent a new scientific method, stating that Bacon, "more fully than any man of his time, entertained the idea of the universe as a problem to be solved, examined, meditated upon, rather than as an eternally fixed stage upon which man walked." Bacon himself claimed that his empirical scientific method would spark a light in nature that would "eventually disclose and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the universe."
During his young adulthood, Bacon attempted to share his ideas with his uncle, Lord Burghley, and later with Queen Elizabeth in his Letter of Advice. The two did not prove to be a receptive audience to Bacon's evolving philosophy of science. It was not until 1620, when Bacon published Book One of Novum Organum Scientiarum (novum organum is Latin for "new method"), that Bacon established himself as a reputable philosopher of science.
According to Bacon in Novum Organum, the scientific method should begin with the "Tables of Investigation." It should then proceed to the "Table of Presence," which is a list of circumstances under which the event being studied occurred. "The Table of Absence in Proximity" is then used to identify negative occurrences. Next, the "Table of Comparison" allows the observer to compare and contrast the severity or degree of the event.
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