The Documents

Science, Culture, and Society

Essays of Counsels, Civil and Moral

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Short Description

In this essay, Bacon argues that the only knowledge of importance to man is empirically rooted in the natural world and that this knowledge should be amassed and studied in a judicious, systematic fashion.

Remnant Trust Description

Frances Bacon (1561-1626). English philosopher, statesman, and essayist. Violently opposed to speculative philosophies and the syllogistic quibbling of the Schoolmen, Bacon argues that the only knowledge of importance to man was empirically rooted in the natural world and that this knowledge should be amassed and studied in a judicious, systematic fashion. For Bacon, a clear system of scientific inquiry would assure man's mastery over the natural world. He deplored generalizations that might obscure the exceptions to every rule and vigorously sought the negative for every positive, in order to bring both into a unified system of thought. In these respects, his ideas anticipated aspects of utilitarianism, particularly in the work of John Stuart Mill.