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Bacon, Francis (1561–1626)

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


British philosopher and statesman, born in London, educated at Cambridge. Bacon was a man of great learning and a complex personality. Through his deep conviction that science, as a systematic study of nature, could positively transform man's estate, he became a prophet of modern science. He attacked Aristotelian and Platonic traditions and summarized the prejudices and false ways of thinking that hindered the acquisition of knowledge as the “four idols” of the mind. He attempted to construct a new method of scientific discovery, which he called the Great Instauration. Although he did not complete his project, his systematic presentation of the method of scientific induction remains a remarkable achievement. His important philosophical works are The Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620). His other influential works include Essays (1597) and New Atlantis (1624). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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