chapter  29
2 Pages

Francis Bacon

WithKieran Walsh

Francis Bacon (1561–1626) was an English philosopher, scientist and writer. He was a champion of using the scientific method to advance knowledge and learning. His great work Novum Organum opens as follows: ‘they who have presumed to dogmatize on nature, as on some well investigated subject, either from self-conceit or arrogance, and in the professorial style, have inflicted the greatest injury on philosophy and learning’ ( 2 ). Bacon wanted to end dogma and build on science. However, he was critical of the methods of universities: ‘again in the habits and regulations of schools, universities and the like assemblies, destined for the abode of learned men and the improvement of learning, everything is opposed to the progress of the sciences; for the lectures and exercises are so ordered, that anything out of the common track can scarcely enter the thoughts and contemplations of the mind’ ( 2 ).