Francis Bacon was a 16th and 17th century intellectual who trained as a philosopher, writer, politician and lawyer. Of English origin, he is considered the father of philosophical and scientific empiricism, and his great works such as Novum Organum are remembered.
In this article we will see a brief biography of Francias Bacon, As well as some of his most relevant works and contributions in the field of science and philosophy.
Biography of Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an English philosopher, orator, lawyer, writer and politician. It is considered one of the most influential English thinkers, a pioneer of science and the father of philosophical and scientific empiricism.
In addition, he made major contributions to three major fields: literature, politics and philosophy. Let’s look at the most important points of his biography.
Francis Bacon was born in London, England on January 22, 1561. His parents were Nicholas Bacon and Anne Cooke Bacon, two famous figures at the time. Sir Nicholas Bacon was a senior magistrate in the government of Queen Elizabeth I, and Anne Cooke Bacon was a highly enlightened and cultured scholar, who made great contributions to English religious literature.
The education Bacon received was quite puritanicalAnd it was especially his mother who instilled these values in him during his first years of life.
Francis bacon he began his studies at the University of Cambridge, where he excelled intellectually, What made Queen Elizabeth I noticed it.
He also studied at Gray’s Inn Bar Association in London, which was very prestigious. Here he became a Member of the British Parliament in 1584.
He was at Gray’s Inn in 1576, where he entered to study law, although he stayed there for a few months because he had visited France as a member of a diplomatic mission. Thus, Bacon also lived for some time in Paris (France), and was part of the British Embassy.
His political career and his titles
On a more political level, Bacon received the title of knight and obtained the right to wear the seal of the Crown, after the death of his father. In reality, Bacon was the first Baron Verulam, the first Viscount of Saint Albans and the Chancellor of England (The latter is a senior politician).
In addition, he was appointed Lord I of the Private Seal and Extraordinary Councilor of the Kingdom by Elizabeth I, and she elected him to the House of Commons. These are all titles of British royalty and politics. On the other hand, thanks to his many contributions, Francis Bacon received the title of knight of King Jacques.
Philosophy and science
At that time, science was based heavily on philosophy, especially on the ideas of Aristotle and ancient Greece. Francis Bacon was particularly interested in Aristotelian ideas, And that is why he began to study the scientific principles based on this philosopher (in particular, on his methodology).
What was the Aristotelian methodology based on? In which scientific truth would be found if several intelligent men gathered to debate and discuss a particular topic, for a considerable period of time, to reach consensus based on what is observed.
However, with experience, Bacon would eventually question this methodology and focus on finding real evidence to prove “scientific truth.”
Francis bacon study how to reformulate the techniques of scientific study, Because I saw errors there.
According to Bacon, knowledge is sustained in the senses (born from them); on the other hand, this author considers that the aim of research should be based on the discovery of its nature and its associated phenomena.
One of Francis Bacon’s most interesting contributions is that of the inductive (empirical) method. in psychology (and other sciences); this constitutes an instrument for analyzing the experience, from the compilation of particular cases of the phenomenon investigated or observed, to subsequently induce a series of conclusions, by means of analogies of the characteristics common to the objects observed. In other words, it is based on the observation of the characteristics or properties shared by the study phenomena.
His main works
Some of Francis Bacon’s most notable works are:
Essays (1597) Advancement of knowledge (1605) Indications concerning the interpretation of nature (1620) (Novum Organum)
Special mention to one of Francis Bacon’s most important works: Novum Organum (“Indications Concerning the Interpretation of Nature”), created in 1620. In these writings Bacon maintains that science is the most suitable method for man to take control of nature.
The aim of the work was to refute Aristotelian ideas, in particular some of the works of the philosopher, such as Organon. Aristotelian ideas are opposed to those of the theoretical-scientific procedure defended by Francis Bacon in this work.
As a positive effect of this work, it should be noted that Novum Organum has encouraged precise observation and experimentation in science.
Francis Bacon died in the same city where he was born, London, on April 9, 1626, of pneumonia.
His death was curious enough; he probably caught pneumonia from filling a chicken with snow, because since it snows in a storm, he thought the snow would preserve the meat, just like the salt. So, on leaving the house, while waiting for the chicken to freeze, he contracted pneumonia and eventually died.
- Bacon, F. (1620). Novum Organum. First edition. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers.
- Hearnshaw, LS (1985). Francis Bacon, precursor of scientific psychology. Journal of the History of Psychology, 6 (1): 5-14.
- Ruiza, M., Fernández, T. and Tamaro, I. (2004). Biography of Francis Bacon. In Biographies and Lives. The online biographical encyclopedia. Barcelona, Spain).