200px-Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban from NPG (2)

Sir Francis Bacon


"if a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."Edit

Sir Francis Bacon Edit

Born: 22 January 1561, London, England

Died: 9 April 1626(aged 65), Highgate, England

Era: the Scientific Revolution

School: Empiricism

Bacon's StyleEdit

We have the part of Cicero in this wiki, but when it comes to know Sir Francis Bacon it is necessary to talk
20051021211809!Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon

about Anti Cicero, as well. It actually began in the 17 century-in Jacobean Era; the time in which people’s taste changed from being emotional to philosophical and scientific, and people showed interest in both philosophy and science. Of course there are reasons for these changes in that era such as involving science in literature because of the scientific development achieved on that time. Like the theory of Galileo or Gabriel Harvey who stated the circulation of blood, and the other one can be the invention of telescopes. So the 17 century becomes the time for ESSAY to enter in English literature, borrowed from the French essay writer named Montaigne, and Francis Bacon was the one who brought it to English literature and got the central role in developing English essay and prose. He actually influenced the intellectual history of the early 17 century because he emphasized learning through experience and Induction (which I’m going to write about later). Coming back to his borrowing from Montaigne, it is necessary to say that there are some differences in their style of writing essays, which we consider them in two different categories; Curt and Loose.

We call Bacon’s style curt because of the features I mention below:

  • Being Objective in writing essay
  • Writing aphorist essays: means short and concise
  • Disjunct: not many sentence connections and use of conjunctions
  • Prophetic: informing rather than explaining (conviction)

And we call Montaigne’s style loose because of:

  • Being expansive: long sentences
  • Being subjective: informal

The difference between their subject matter in their essays is:

Montaigne analyzes his sensual and mental being to decipher human kind, and Bacon presents “Civil and Moral” in his essays, and becomes the speaker of society for wisdom.

Then by the features mentioned above, Francis Bacon wrote his literary works, such as:


  • The advancement of learning

  • Novum Organum

  • New Atlantis: A scientific Utopia

New Atlantis is a utopia novel by Sir Francis Bacon , published in Latin (as Nova Atlantis) in 1624 and in English in 1627. In this work, Bacon portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge, expressing his aspirations and ideals for humankind. The novel depicts the creation of a utopian land where "generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit" are the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of "Bensalem". The plan and organization of his ideal college, "Salomon's House" (or Solomon's House) envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure sciences.d as a benign character.

The Advancement of Learning

Bacon's great claim to fame is not that he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of 12, not that he was Lord Chancellor of England under James I, nor even that he has been reputed the real writer of Shakespeare's plays, but that he was a philosopher of the first rank and the effective founder of the modern, experimental, scientific, approach to understanding. Before Bacon, 'learning' largely meant memorizing the classics, especially Aristotle , and acceding to every dictat of established religion. In The Advancement of Learning, he argued that the only knowledge of importance was that which could be discovered by observation- 'empirical' knowledge rooted in the natural world. He championed the idea of state funding for experimental science and the creation of an encyclopedia. In Novum Organum (1620), he redefined the task of natural science, as a way of increasing human power over nature, and in The New Atlantis (1626), describing a Utopia n state exploiting scientific knowledge. The expression "Knowledge is power" is his. In 1621 Bacon was evicted from office for taking a bribe and died four years later after catching a cold while stuffing a chicken with snow in an early experiment in refrigeration.

The Novum Organum is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon published in 1620. The title translates as "new instrument". This is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on Logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. This is now known as the Baconian method .thumb|link=File:200px-Novum_Organum_1650_crop.jpg

For Bacon, finding the essence of a thing was a simple process of reduction , and the use of inductive reasoning . In finding the cause of a phenomenal nature such as heat, one must list all of the situations where heat is found. Then another list should be drawn up, listing situations that are similar to those of the first list except for the lack of heat. A third table lists situations where heat can vary. The form nature, or cause, of heat must be that which is common to all instances in the first table, is lacking from all instances of the second table and varies by degree in instances of the third table.This work was critical in the historical development of the scientific method .The title page of Novum Organum depicts a galleon passing between the mythical Pillars of Hercules that stand either side of the Strait of Gibraltar, marking the exit from the well-charted waters of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic Ocean. The Pillars, as the boundary of the Mediterranean, have been smashed through opening a new world to exploration. Bacon hopes that empirical investigation will, similarly, smash the old scientific ideas and lead to greater understanding of the world and heavens.The Latin tag across the bottom is taken from the Book of Daniel 12:4. It means: "Many will travel and knowledge will be increased".

Father of EmpiricismEdit

As we know Francis Bacon is known as the father of inductive reasoning and Empiricism. So, what does it mean?

Firstly, it is needed to know what epistemology is; it is the view which predominates in the study of human


knowledge, and empiricism is one of several competing views about it. Empiricism itself emphasizes that experience, evidence, especially sensory perception are important in the formation of ideas, and it is a scientific theory which states knowledge comes from the evidences which are gathered from sense experience(what one discovers from experience). Furthermore, in scientific method it is necessary that all hypothesis and theories be tested against the observations of natural world. And one shouldn’t remain in the reasoning that are formed and conceived before-which is called a priori reasoning- or remain in revelation and intuition (perception without conscious reasoning). Therefore, according to this scientific view science should be empirical in nature.

This theory practically exists in Bacon’s essays (known as Baconian Method), like in the one which we studied together; named Of Studies. The sentences such as:

”They perfect nature and are perfected by experience; for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them, for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them and above them; won by experience.”