Wednesday, November 11, 2015
final report, instalment 3 (#12)
In this post I am going to talk about Francis bacon’s philosophy. The website I got the information from is cited below.
PHILOSOPHY OF FRANCIS BACON
Bacon Francis denounced the scholastic thinkers for their attachment to Aristotelian doctrines, which he felt prevented independent thinking and the acquisition of new ideas regarding nature. He argued that to improve the quality of human life, the advancement of science should not depend on ancient texts, and old authorities should be considered redundant and unnecessary. He believed that knowledge should be pursued in a new and organized way (The scientific method). Bacon could see that the only knowledge of importance to humanity was empirically rooted in the natural world; and that a clear system of scientific inquiry would assure mastery over the material world. Bacon was among the first to appreciate the value of the new science for human life. He stated that knowledge should help utilize nature for human advantage and should improve the quality of life by advancing commerce, industry and agriculture.
He believed that knowledge is power and he urged the government to create scientific institutions to praise the progress in technology and the mechanical arts. Although Bacon was not a scientific investigator himself, he used political influence to support the scientific projects with the use of inductive reasoning. During his reign in office, he encouraged the organization of science itself, the communication between centers of learning to share research and resources, and of royal patronage for the sciences. A direct result was the formation of The Royal Society in Britain, formed with the financial support of the Crown. By the middle of the seventeenth century, the new science was firmly established throughout Europe.
His philosophy was contrasted by the position taken by the Roman Catholic Church at the time. The Church had taken the offensive in preserving the core of its heritage, and this new science appeared to be another act of heresy. Scientific investigation in Catholic European countries caused conflict between authority and knowledge. The sceptics concluded that nothing was known and nothing was knowable. This outrageous new outlook inevitably led to the most shocking of all possible ideas, “atheism.”
Bacon had mixed views when it came to the practice of astrology. He felt that astrology was very full of superstition, and thought that astrology needed to be based on reason and physical speculation. He held that astrological predictions of the climate and what each season would bring forth, could be accurate and have some value. Astrology would be used for the prediction of comets, meteors, coming droughts, heats, frosts, earthquakes, fiery eruptions, winds, great rains, the seasons of the year, plagues, epidemic diseases, plenty, famine, wars, transmigration of people, or great innovations of things both natural and civil . Astrology could be used for agricultural or horticultural actions, factors including planting according to the phase of the Moon would be particularly important. He rejected the use of all semi-magical uses of astrology connected with seals, talismans, amulets, etc. In Novum Organum, Bacon was very dismissive and said that all superstition is much the same whether it was in regards to astrology, dreams, omens, or any of the like. He thought that astrology should only be applied to the world of nature and human history in its collective sense, but not to the life and fortune of any individual. In other words, Bacon advocated the use of mundane astrology, and nothing more.
Bacon coined the ideal slogan "Knowledge is Power" to help convert the doubters. Though many of the Natural Philosophers preferred to investigate from the certainty of one's mind, Bacon urged the use of the inductive approach. He insisted that explanation from observations untainted by theoretical preconceptions was the only true way to get untainted results. He envisioned a future utopian island community dedicated to investigating new ways of harnessing nature’s powers for the benefit of society. Of course he was vague about how all that would come about, but did insist that information collected by teams of researchers who were organized into separate projects, could accumulate facts that their leaders would digest into scientific knowledge.
"Francis Bacon: The Natural Philosopher." Francis Bacon: The Natural Philosopher. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
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