Sir Francis Bacon (1551-1626)
born to priviledge
entered Cambridge at age 12
described tutors as "men of sharp wits, shut up in their
cells [with] Aristotle, their dictator"
rose to become Lord Chancellor of England
thought, by some, to be author of Shakespeare's plays
in Novum Organon (1620),
presented clearly (but didn't invent) idea that experiment
and research are the sole bases of science and philosophy
delineates principles of the inductive scientific method
the only knowledge of importance is empirically rooted in
the natural world
a clear system of scientific inquiry would assure man's mastery
over the world
"Knowledge is power"
"There are and can be only two ways of searching into
and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to
the most general axioms: this way is now in fashion. The other derives
axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken
ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all.
This is the true way, but as yet untried."