Bacon's philosophy. Francis Bacon's Modern Philosophy

Bacon's philosophy. Francis Bacon's Modern Philosophy
Bacon's philosophy. Francis Bacon's Modern Philosophy

The first thinker who made empirical knowledge the basis for any knowledge is Francis Bacon. He, together with Rene Descartes, proclaimed the basic principles for the New Age. Bacon's philosophy gave birth to a fundamental precept for Western thinking: knowledge is power. It was in science that he saw the most powerful tool for progressive social change. But who was this famous philosopher, what was the essence of his doctrine?

Childhood and youth

Founder of modern philosophy Bacon was born on January 22, 1561 in London. His father was a senior official at the court of Elizabeth. The atmosphere at home, the education of his parents, undoubtedly influenced little Francis. At twelve he was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge University. Three years later he was sent to Paris as part of a royal mission, but the young man soon returned due to the death of his father. In England, he took up jurisprudence, and very successfully. However, he considered his successfulthe activities of a lawyer only as a springboard to a political and public career. Undoubtedly, the entire subsequent philosophy of F. Bacon experienced the experiences of this period. Already in 1584 he was first elected to the House of Commons. At the court of James the First Stuart there was a rapid rise of the young politician. The king granted him many ranks, awards and high positions.

bacon philosophy


Bacon's philosophy is closely connected with the reign of King James the First. In 1614, the king dissolved the parliament completely and ruled virtually single-handedly. However, in need of advisers, Jacob brought Sir Francis closer to him. Already by 1621, Bacon was appointed Lord of the High Chancellery, Baron Verulamsky, Viscount of St. Albany, Keeper of the Royal Seal and an honorary member of the so-called Privy Council. When, nevertheless, it became necessary for the king to reassemble the parliament, the parliamentarians did not forgive such an elevation to an ordinary former lawyer, and he was sent to rest. An outstanding philosopher and politician died on April 9, 1626.


During the years of court troublesome service F. Bacon's empirical philosophy developed due to his interest in science, law, morality, religion and ethics. His writings glorified their author as a great thinker and the actual ancestor of the entire philosophy of modern times. In 1597, the first work en titled "Experiments and Instructions" was published, which was then revised twice and reprinted many times. In 1605, the essay “On the Significance and Success of Knowledge,divine and human. After his departure from politics, Francis Bacon, whose quotations can be seen in many modern works of philosophy, delved into his mental research. In 1629, the "New Organon" was published, and in 1623 - "On the Merits and Multiplication of Science." Bacon's philosophy, briefly and concisely presented in allegorical form for a better understanding of the broad masses, was reflected in the utopian story "New Atlantis". Other excellent writings: "On Heaven", "On Beginnings and Causes", "The History of King Henry the Seventeenth", "The History of Death and Life".

francis bacon quotes

Main thesis

All scientific and ethical thought of modern times was anticipated by the philosophy of Bacon. It is very difficult to summarize its entire array, but it can be said that the main purpose of the work of this author is to bring to a more perfect form the communication between things and the mind. It is the mind that is the highest measure of value. The philosophy of modern times and the Enlightenment, developed by Bacon, placed special emphasis on correcting the barren and vague concepts that are used in the sciences. Hence the need to "refer to things with a new look and carry out the restoration of the arts and sciences and, in general, of all human knowledge."

A look at science

Francis Bacon, whose quotes were used by almost all eminent philosophers of the New Age, believed that science since the time of the ancient Greeks had made very little progress in understanding and studying nature. People began to think less about the initial principles andconcepts. Thus, Bacon's philosophy calls on posterity to pay attention to the development of science and do it to improve all life. He spoke out against prejudices about science, sought recognition of scientific research and scientists. It was from him that a sharp change in European culture began, it was from his thoughts that many areas of modern philosophy grew. From a suspicious occupation in the eyes of the people of Europe, science is becoming a prestigious and important field of knowledge. In this regard, many philosophers, scientists and thinkers follow in the footsteps of Bacon. In place of scholasticism, which was completely divorced from technical practice and knowledge of nature, comes science, which has a close connection with philosophy and relies on special experiments and experiences.

the philosophy of Bacon and Descartes

A look at education

In his book The Great Restoration of the Sciences, Bacon drew up a well-thought-out and detailed plan for changing the entire education system: its funding, approved regulations and statutes, and the like. He was one of the first politicians and philosophers to emphasize the importance of activities to provide funds for education and experimentation. Bacon also stated the need to revise the teaching programs at universities. Even now, getting acquainted with Bacon's reflections, one can be surprised at the depth of his foresight as a statesman, scientist and thinker: the program from The Great Restoration of the Sciences is relevant to this day. It is difficult to imagine how revolutionary it was in the seventeenth century. It is thanks to SirTo Francis, the seventeenth century in England was "a century of great learning and scientific discovery." It was Bacon's philosophy that became the forerunner of such modern disciplines as sociology, the economics of science and science of science. The main contribution of this philosopher to the practice and theory of science was that he saw the need to bring scientific knowledge under a methodological and philosophical justification. The philosophy of F. Bacon was aimed at the synthesis of all sciences into a single system.

bacon philosophy in brief

Differentiation of science

Sir Francis wrote that the most correct division of human knowledge is the division into three natural abilities of the rational soul. History in this scheme corresponds to memory, philosophy is reason, and poetry is imagination. History is divided into civil and natural. Poetry is divided into parabolic, dramatic and epic. The most detailed consideration is the classification of philosophy, which is divided into a huge number of subspecies and types. Bacon also separates it from "divinely inspired theology", which he leaves exclusively to theologians and theologians. Philosophy is divided into natural and transcendent. The first block includes teachings about nature: physics and metaphysics, mechanics, mathematics. It is they who form the backbone of such a phenomenon as the philosophy of the New Age. Bacon thinks on a large scale and broadly about man. In his ideas there is a doctrine about the body (this includes medicine, athletics, art, music, cosmetics), and a doctrine about the soul, which has many subsections. It includes such sections as ethics, logic (memorization theory,discoveries, judgments) and “civil science” (which includes the doctrine of business relations, the state, and government). Bacon's complete classification does not leave without due attention any of the areas of knowledge existing at that time.

New Organon

Bacon's philosophy, summarized above, flourishes in the book "New Organon". It begins with a reflection on what a person, an interpreter and servant of nature, understands and does, comprehends in the order of nature by thinking or deed. The philosophy of Bacon and Descartes, his actual contemporary, is a new milestone in the development of world thought, as it involves the renewal of science, the complete elimination of false concepts and "ghosts", which, according to these thinkers, deeply engulfed the human mind and entrenched in it. The New Organon expresses the opinion that the old medieval church-scholastic way of thinking is in deep crisis, and this kind of knowledge (as well as the corresponding methods of research) are imperfect. Bacon's philosophy is that the path of knowledge is extremely difficult, since the knowledge of nature is like a labyrinth in which it is necessary to make one's way, and the paths of which are varied and often deceptive. And those who usually lead people along these paths often go astray themselves and increase the number of wanderers and wanderers. That is why there is an urgent need to carefully study the principles of obtaining new scientific knowledge and experience. The philosophy of Bacon and Descartes, and then Spinoza, is based on the establishment of an integral structure and methodology of knowledge. The first task here is to clear the mind,his release and preparation for creative work.

bacon's philosophy

"Ghosts" - what is it?

Bacon's philosophy speaks of the purification of the mind so that it approaches the truth, which consists in three revelations: the revelation of the generated mind of man, philosophies and proofs. Accordingly, four "ghosts" are also distinguished. What is it? These are the hindrances that hinder true, authentic consciousness:

1) "ghosts" of the genus, which have a basis in human nature, in the genus of people, "in the tribe";

2) "ghosts" of the cave, that is, delusions of a particular person or group of people, which are caused by the "cave" of a person or group (that is, a "small world");

3) "ghosts" of the market, which stem from the communication of people;

4) "ghosts" of the theater, instilling in the soul from perverse laws and dogmas.

All these factors must be discarded and refuted by the triumph of reason over prejudice. It is the social and educational function that is the basis of the doctrine of this kind of interference.

"Ghosts" of the kind

Bacon's philosophy maintains that such disturbances are inherent in the human mind, which tends to attribute much more uniformity and order to things than is actually found in nature. The mind seeks to artificially fit new data and facts to fit its beliefs. A person succumbs to arguments and arguments that most amaze the imagination. The limitations of cognition and the connection of the mind with the world of feelings are the problems of the philosophy of the New Age, which the great thinkers tried to solve with theiressays.

Ghosts of the cave

They arise from the diversity of people: some love more particular sciences, others tend to general philosophizing and reasoning, others revere ancient knowledge. These differences, which stem from individual characteristics, significantly obscure and distort knowledge.

philosophy of modern times bacon

Ghosts of the market

These are the products of the misuse of names and words. According to Bacon, this is where the features of the philosophy of the New Age originate, which are aimed at combating sophistical inaction, verbal skirmishes and disputes. Names and names can be given to things that do not exist, and theories are created about this, false and empty. For a while, fiction becomes real, and this is the paralyzing influence for knowledge. More complex "ghosts" grow out of ignorant and bad abstractions that are put into wide scientific and practical use.

Ghosts of the theater

They do not secretly enter the mind, but are transmitted from perverse laws and fictitious theories and perceived by other people. Bacon's philosophy classifies the "ghosts" of the theater into forms of erroneous opinion and thinking (empiricism, sophistry and superstition). There are always negative consequences for practice and science that are caused by a fanatical and dogmatic commitment to pragmatic empiricism or metaphysical speculation.

Teaching about method: the first requirement

Francis Bacon addresses people whose minds are shrouded in habit and captivated by it, who do not see the need to dismember the wholepictures of nature and the image of things in the name of contemplation of the one and the whole. It is with the help of “fragmentation”, “separation”, “separation” of the processes and bodies that make up the nature, one can establish oneself in the integrity of the universe.

Teaching about method: the second requirement

This paragraph specifies the specifics of "dismemberment". Bacon believes that division is not a goal, but a means by which the lightest and simplest components can be distinguished. The subject of consideration here should be the most concrete and simple bodies, as if they “open in their nature in its usual course.”

Teaching about method: the third requirement

The search for a simple nature, a simple beginning, as Francis Bacon explains, does not mean that we are talking about specific material bodies, particles or phenomena. The goals and objectives of science are much more complex: it is necessary to take a fresh look at nature, to discover its forms, to look for the source that produces nature. It is about discovering such a law that could become the basis of activity and knowledge.

bacon's empirical philosophy

Teaching about method: the fourth requirement

Bacon's philosophy says that first of all it is necessary to prepare an "experienced and natural" history. In other words, it is necessary to enumerate and summarize what nature itself says to the mind. Consciousness, which is left to itself, and driven by itself. And already in this process, it is necessary to highlight the methodological rules and principles that can make empirical research turn into a true understanding of nature.

Social andpractical ideas

One cannot in any way belittle the merits of Sir Francis Bacon as a politician and statesman. The scope of his social activity was enormous, which would become the hallmark of many philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England. He highly appreciates mechanics and mechanical inventions, which, in his opinion, are incomparable with spiritual factors and influence human affairs more qualitatively. As well as we alth, which becomes a social value, in contrast to the ideal of scholastic asceticism. The technical and productive possibilities of society are unreservedly approved by Bacon, as is technical development. He has a positive attitude towards the modern state and economic system, which will also be characteristic of many philosophers of later times. Francis Bacon confidently advocates the expansion of the colonies, gives detailed advice on painless and "fair" colonization. As a direct participant in British politics, he speaks well of the activities of industrial and commercial companies. The personality of a simple honest businessman, an enterprising entrepreneur, causes Bacon's sympathy. He gives many recommendations regarding the most humane and preferred methods and ways of personal enrichment. Bacon sees an antidote against riots and unrest, as well as poverty, in a flexible policy, subtle state attention to the needs of the public and an increase in the we alth of the population. The specific methods he recommends are tax regulation, the opening of new trade routes, the improvement of crafts andagriculture, benefits for manufactories.

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