Philosophy: Sir Francis Bacon
Biography, Quotes, Pictures of the Famous Philosopher / Scientist

A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. (Francis Bacon)

Francis Bacon Biography & Summary of his Main Ideas in Philosophy, Science & Religion

Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626 CE)

A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. (Francis Bacon)Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, spy, freemason and essayist. He was knighted in 1603, created Baron Verulam in 1618, and created Viscount St Albans in 1621; both peerage titles becoming extinct upon his death.

He began his professional life as a lawyer, but he has become best known as a philosophical advocate and defender of the scientific revolution. His works establish and popularize an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method. Induction implies drawing knowledge from the natural world through experimentation, observation, and testing of hypotheses. In the context of his time, such methods were connected with the occult trends of hermeticism and alchemy.

Francis Bacon's works include his Essays, as well as the Colours of Good and Evil and the Meditationes Sacrae, all published in 1597. His famous aphorism, "knowledge is power", is found in the Meditations. In the fragment De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium (written probably about 1603) Bacon analyses his own mental character and establishes his goals, which were threefold: discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Francis Bacon also wrote In felicem memoriam Elizabethae, a eulogy for the queen written in 1609; and various philosophical works which constitute the fragmentary and incomplete Instauratio magna, the most important part of which is the Novum Organum (published 1620).

Francis Bacon did not propose an actual philosophy, but rather a method of developing philosophy; he wrote that, whilst philosophy at the time used the deductive syllogism to interpret nature, the philosopher should instead proceed through inductive reasoning from fact to axiom to law. Before beginning this induction, the inquirer is to free his mind from certain false notions or tendencies which distort the truth. These are called "Idols" (idola), and are of four kinds: "Idols of the Tribe" (idola tribus), which are common to the race; "Idols of the Den" (idola specus), which are peculiar to the individual; "Idols of the Marketplace" (idola fori), coming from the misuse of language; and "Idols of the Theater" (idola theatri), which result from an abuse of authority. The end of induction is the discovery of forms, the ways in which natural phenomena occur, the causes from which they proceed.

Bacon's somewhat fragmentary ethical system, derived through use of his methods, is explicated in the seventh and eighth books of his De augmentis scientiarum (1623). He distinguishes between duty to the community, an ethical matter, and duty to God, a purely religious matter. Any moral action is the action of the human will, which is governed by reason and spurred on by the passions; habit is what aids men in directing their will toward the good. No universal rules can be made, as both situations and men's characters differ.

Bacon distinctly separates religion and philosophy, though the two can coexist. Where philosophy is based on reason, faith is based on revelation, and therefore irrational - in De augmentis he writes that "[t]he 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."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon

Francis Bacon Quotes, Portraits & Pictures

'Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.' (Francis Bacon) A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.

As the births of living creatures are at first ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time.

Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.

Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.

Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.

Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.

Friends are thieves of time.

Friendship increases in visiting friends, but in visiting them seldom.

'Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.'  (Francis Bacon)He that hath knowledge spareth his words.

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.

Knowledge is power.

Little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.

Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety.

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted ... but to weigh and consider.

Science is but an image of the truth.

The correlative to loving our neighbours as ourselves is hating ourselves as we hate our neighbours.

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.

Young people are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and more fit for new projects than for settled business.

A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner. (Francis Bacon)




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