Rise and Fall from Grace
Born in 1561, from he was young he aspired to be a politician. Politics was in his DNA: His father was lord keeper of the great seal under Elizabeth I, and his maternal grandfather was tutor to Edward VI. After many obstacles, he was first elected to Parliament in 1584, appointed attorney general in 1613. In 1616 he was appointed to the Privy Council and his ascension in the political arena continued until 1621 when the High Court of Parliament convicted him for accepting bribes and banned him from public office.
Surprisingly, this man is not known for his political escapades. He secured a place in history for philosophy and science. He pursued those interests doggedly even when he was a politician.
Who is this guy?
He is the father of inductive reasoning. He opposed Aristotelian philosophy and Platonism because their methodologies didn’t discover “new truths”. He was very critical of Copernicus and Ptolemy. In his mind speculation is useless without investigation of facts. What is really true is more important than predictions.
Published Works Include
- The Advancement of Learning
- On the Wisdom of the Ancients
- New Method
- History of Henry VII
- Novum organum
- New Atlantis
“He had remarkable powers of imagination and many of his prophecies have been fulfilled. They included mechanical transport on land and sea, aerial flight, and submarine exploration. He demonstrated that air is required to support combustion, and experimented with lenses to improve vision.” Biographical Dictionary of Science, p25.
Our mystery guy is Francis Bacon.
Why he was wise
Francis Bacon secured a place in history, and was very influential in 17th century science not because of any positive accomplishments, but for his vision of science which he expressed in New Atlantis and Novum arganum.
He believed that “All bodies have powers to produce change in themselves and in other bodies.” Do you agree with this statement?
- Are you a visionary?
- What is the science behind what you do?
- How can observation and experimentation improve your business, or even the way you do your job?
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Biographical Dictionary of Science
Encyclopedia of World Biography
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