Sir Francis BaconSir Francis Bacon was born January 22, 1561. He died April 9,1626. He was an English essayist, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher . He had amajor influence on the philosophy of science. When he was 12 years old, hebegan studies at Trinity College, Cambridge.

In 1576 he entered Gray’s Inn topursue a career in law. He was first elected in 1584.Bacon’s opposition to royal tax measures would probably have brought anend 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 afterthe succession of James I.

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Bacon and he became solicitor-general in 1609,attorney-general in 1613, lord keeper of the great seal in 1617, and lordchancellor 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 royalprerogative, but in 1621 he was found guilty of accepting bribes and was removedfrom his office. Retiring to Gorhambury, he devoted himself to writing andscientific work.Philosophically, Bacon wrote marks such as the Instauratio Magna (GreatRestoration), setting forth his concepts for the restoration of humankind tomastery over nature.

It was intended to contain six parts: first aclassification of sciences; second a new inductive logic; third a gathering ofempirical and experimental facts; fourth examples to show the effectiveness ofhis new approach; fifth generalization derivable from natural history; and a newphilosophy that would be a complete science of nature.Bacon completed only two parts, however, the Advancement of Learning in1605, later expanded as De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum (On the Dignityand Growth of Sciences, 1620); and the Novum Organum (The New Organon, 1620),which was to replace Aristotle’s Organon. Sciences were under the generalheadings of history, poetry, and philosophy. Their culmination was an inductivephilosophy of nature, in which proposed to find the natural laws, of bodilyaction. To this end, he devised so-called tables of induction designed todiscover such forms with the goal of mastery over nature.Although Bacon was not a great scientist, he gave impetus to thedevelopment of modern inductive science. His works were held in esteem byRobert Boyle, Robert Hook, Sir Isaac Newton, and Thomas Hobbes.

In theeighteenth century, Voltaire and Diderot considered him the father of modernsentence. Other works of Bacon’s include his essays from 1597-1625 and the NewAtlantis in 1627. So nineteenth century writers suggested that Bacon was thereal author of Shakespeare’s plays, but this theory is discounted by mostscholars.

Bibliography:World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago: Field Enterprises EducationalCorporation, 1962. Volume B Pp. 18.Wegman, Richard J.

, Medical and Health Encyclopedia, New York: FergusonPublishing Company, 1992, Pp. 491-492.

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