Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) & Logical Thinking


Every great thinker is a mixture of the limitations of the times within which he or she lived, and a spark of genius that transcends those very same constraints. In fact, I would say that a genius is not necessarily a privileged member of the dominant or riling class – on the contrary – the pampering this class receives tends to negate the function of genius, or at least negates its emerging into society (through transcendent modes of thought), but in the case of Sir Francis Bacon, brought-up as he was, in the religiously dominated upper classes of feudal England, the spark of genius definitely did emerge with a vengeance that threatened the very edifice of the privileged society that he was apart. This is why Sir Francis Bacon is considered the father of modern experiential science. Although his works often made allusions to religious motif, the implications and conclusions of that work definitely lay ‘beyond’ the scope of religious thinking, and thoroughly entered the realms of ‘logical’ and ‘rational’ analytical thinking. Even within his work of fiction entitled ‘The New Atlantis’ (published after his death), he explained the Solomon Institute, which existed to logically analyse and map all of physical existence, and thereby extend humanity’s understanding of the world within which it lived. This notion of Bacon’s is thought to have been the inspiration behind the founding of the Royal Society (1660) in the UK – the Latin motto of which reads ‘nullius in verba’ – or ‘take no one’s word for it’. This development signifies a clean-break from inverted modes of thought associated with theism and theistic modes of analysis, and the turning of the mind the ‘right way around’. The assumptions of religion were laid to one-side, and the characteristics of various phenomena were examined in an objective manner, that sought understanding through a detached observation. This inevitably led to the idea of experimentation and the replication of results to prove hypotheses.

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