Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the Scientific Method. Francis Bacon is considered one of the fathers of modern science.
He proposed, at his time, a great reformation of all process of knowledge for the advancement of learning divine and human. For Bacon, this reformation would lead to a great advancement in science and a progeny of new inventions that would relieve mankind’s miseries and needs. In Novum Organum, the second part of the Instauration, he stated his view that the restoration of science was part of the “partial returning of mankind to the state it lived before the fall”, restoring its dominion over creation, while religion and faith would partially restore mankind’s original state of innocence and purity. In the book The Great Instauration, he also gave some admonitions regarding the ends and purposes of science, from which much of his philosophy can be deduced. He said that men should confine the sense within the limits of duty in respect to things divine, while not falling in the opposite error which would be to think that inquisition of nature is forbidden by divine law.
Regarding faith, in “De Augmentis”, he wrote that “the more discordant, therefore, and incredible, the divine mystery is, the more honor is shown to God in believing it, and the nobler is the victory of faith. God’s Will and science as the contemplation of God’s Power. Men have sought to make a world from their own conception and to draw from their own minds all the material which they employed, but if instead of doing so, they had consulted experience and observation, they would have the facts and not opinions to reason about, and might have ultimately arrived at the knowledge of the laws which govern the material world.
The Latin inscription is from Daniel 12:4: “Multi pertransibunt et augebitur scientia. Many shall go to and fro and knowledge shall be increased. 1620 publication: “Many shall go to and fro and knowledge shall be increased. Through this inscription, Bacon draws a parallel between the Age of Exploration and the Scientific Revolution.
Since Bacon’s ideal was a widespread revolution of the common method of scientific inquiry, there had to be some way by which his method could become widespread. While in office under Queen Elizabeth, he even advocated for the employment of a minister for science and technology, a position that was never realized. While Bacon was a strong advocate for state involvement in scientific inquiry, he also felt that his general method should be applied directly to the functioning of the state as well.
Francis bacon essay of studies summary
For Bacon, matters of policy were inseparable from philosophy and science. Bacon recognized the repetitive nature of history and sought to correct it by making the future direction of government more rational.