Scientific Method and Francis Bacon Philosophy

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The Renaissance was a period in European history that marked the transition from the Middle Ages, and our Modern Time. This time period covers the events that happen between the 14th and 17th centuries. During the Renaissance, ideologies, forms of art and literature, and languages were spreading throughout Europe to different regions of the world. One of the most driving forces in the Renaissance were the different philosophies running around.

Philosophers like Plato, Lorenzo Valla, and Nicolaus Copernicus all contributed to society with their own ideas and philosophies, to better understand their world as they knew it. One of these great philosophers was born into the European world on January 22, 1561. Sir Nicholas Bacon’s wife gave birth to Francis Bacon, the father of empiricism. He was homeschooled in his early years due to poor health. To this day, Francis Bacon was known for his expertise in writing and the Scientific Method, both of which had a huge impact on our history.

Francis Bacon was a leading figure in natural philosophy and in the field of scientific methodology during the Renaissance. Even though he was a lawyer and a member of Parliament, he still published texts about the “possible conceptions of society and pondered questions of ethics” in his society during his time, as most philosophers would. He was also a devout Anglican, which helped him on his path through the scientific world. Francis Bacon believed that his natural world must be thoroughly and intently, but still also believed in the existence of his God. His deep faith helped him through many trials and errors, but he does not rely on it to try and understand the world around him entirely. This is what led him to write down his philosophical ideas.

One of his major philosophical works is known as the Novum Organum, or New organon in English. This book was written in Latin and published in 1620, during a time when philosophers and teachers of the time were continuing the old methods of the past. So he went on a journey to break “the mold of the teachers and philosophers he saw as holding back progress” by writing the Novum Organum. This book was defined as the “New Tool” during its time period. This is because was meant as a tool for the use of establishing “a foundation of objectivity prior to approaching a given subject or problem”.

In Bacon’s philosophy, he claims that the human mind is not a blank slate in our heads that will automatically receive information in an objective way, “thereby creating a perfect picture of the world around it.” He proposes that instead, the human mind is filled and clouded with biases in perception and cannot be trusted to construct a clear image of any given circumstance. Based on this information, the Novum Organum is a tool, used by scientists and philosophers, that establishes the clearest truth that is based on observation, prior to approaching any problem that comers a person’s way.

Bacon’s experience in his faith, as a politician, and a lawyer inspires and helps him in creating the thing that makes him famous, the Baconian method. This method is more commonly known as the scientific method. The scientific method was a means of “studying, interpreting, and analysing a natural phenomena.” This was a scientific substitute for the systems of thought that were being used during his time, which to him, relied heavily on guessing and the “mere citing of authorities” to establish truths of sciences.

The scientific method requires a person to dismiss all “prejudices and preconceptions”, and to rely on all of your senses. This method, as written in the November Organum, consists of three man steps: an examination of facts, a classification of those details into three categories, and the rejection of of whatever details that appear to not be connected with what you are observing. This method was made to further investigate different situations and to try and find a definitive, clear answer. The Baconian method was further developed by many different scientists and philosophers throughout European History, and in today’s world, and is a basis for scientists today.

Even after his death in 1626, he was still being praised in his time period. After his death, one of his friends published the incomplete “utopian” novel known as New Atlantis. In this book, Bacon offers a vision for a society driven mainly by science and knowledge, with its only “driving principle being the bettering of man’s feeble condition.” Throughout this book, you can see Bacon’s scientific humanism, and how it reflects on his own faith. Religion has a role in crafting his perfect society in the story, but it is an illusory role compared to Bacon’s true faith, science. The New Atlantis suggests that the methodical dedication of society to knowledge and education will get rid of all wrongs, and purify the rights, from the human condition.

The book presents unlimited ideas for the rule of scientists. For example, it was forbidden to tell anyone in society that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun. There are no legal principles of natural justice or law limiting the power of the scientists and philosophers in Sir Francis Bacon’s version of utopia. He presents all of these ideas to show what it would look like to be in a world where all of the inhabitants share a type of functional happiness. He presents this view to his readers to show how people would act in these types of situations, and what he thinks a society would look like.

Francis Bacon tries his best as a philosopher, scientist, and writer to provide the next generation that comes after him with the tools they need to overcome challenges and problems that face them. With the Novum Organum, he allows educators and scientists to formulate valid and reliable data, hypotheses, and theories. With the scientific method, he is helping his fellow scientists to collect measurable evidence in an experiment to prove their hypothesis right or wrong, and allows them to further their research and findings to find a definitive answer.

With the New Atlantis, he expresses a wide variety of his opinions on humanism and his religion. People like Francis Bacon do these things to help the next generation and so forth to succeed in bringing all of us forward. All of these things that Bacon accomplishes is not just his accomplishments, but humanity’s accomplishments. Each human that succeeds allows humanity to move forward as a species and to develop our own understanding of this mystery of a world that we live in.


  1. DeCook, Travis. “Studies in Philosophies”. 2008. The University of North Carolina Press, Vol. 105 Issue 1 , p103-122
  2. Francis Bacon. “English Philosopher and Statesman.” 2019. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, November, 1. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=134503747&site=hrc-live&scope=site.
  3. “Francis Bacon: The New Philosophy.” 2006. Beacon Lights of History, Vol. 6, March, 118–31. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=22873297&site=hrc-li ve&scope=site.
  4. Klein, Jürgen. “Francis Bacon.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/francis-bacon/
  5. Stewart, Ian G. “A New Novum Organum: A New Bacon?” History of Science 43, no. 4 (December 2005): 457–66. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=19349495&site=hrc-live&scope=site.
  6. Trinkaus, Charles. 1989. “The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Book Review).” American Historical Review 94 (3): 754. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=5658709&site=hrc-live&scope=site.
  7. Voit, Eberhard. “Perspective: Dimensions of the scientific method.” 2019. Vol. 15, pg. 1-14

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Scientific Method and Francis Bacon Philosophy. (2021, Aug 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/scientific-method-and-francis-bacon-philosophy/

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