Sir Francis Bacon

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Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon was born January 22, 1561. He died April 9,

1626. He was an English essayist, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher . He

had a major influence on the philosophy of science. When he was 12 years

old, he began studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1576 he entered

Gray's Inn to pursue a career in law. He was first elected in 1584.

Bacon's opposition to royal tax measures would probably have brought

an end 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 after the succession of James I. Bacon and he became solicitor-general

in 1609, attorney-general in 1613, lord keeper of the great seal in 1617, and

lord chancellor 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 royal prerogative, but in 1621 he was found guilty of accepting

bribes and was removed from his office.

Retiring to Gorhambury, he

devoted himself to writing and scientific work.

Philosophically, Bacon wrote marks such as the Instauratio Magna

(Great Restoration), setting forth his concepts for the restoration of

humankind to mastery over nature. It was intended to contain six parts: first

a classification of sciences; second a new inductive logic; third a gathering of

empirical and experimental facts; fourth examples to show the effectiveness

of his new approach; fifth generalization derivable from natural history; and a

new philosophy that would be a complete science of nature.

Bacon completed only two parts, however, the Advancement of

Learning in 1605, later expanded as De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum

(On the Dignity and Growth of Sciences, 1620); and the Novum Organum

(The New Organon, 1620),