|Born||Jan. 22, 1561
Strand, London, England
|Died||Apr. 9, 1626 (at age 65)
Highgate, Middlesex, England
Francis Bacon was a British philosopher, scientist, and a lawyer. Having written a number of highly influential works on religion, law, state, science and politics, he was one of the early pioneers of the scientific methodology who created “empiricism” and motivated the scientific revolution.
Bacon’s Early Years
Francis Bacon was born in 1561 to Nicolas Bacon and Anne Cooke Bacon. His father was a popular politician and a Lord Keeper of the Seal. His mother, Anne Bacon, was his father’s second wife. Bacon’s mother was a sister-in-law to Lord Burghley.
Bacon was homeschooled in his younger years. The younger of Nicholas Bacon and Anne Cook’s two sons, Francis Bacon entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1573, when he was 11 years of age. He finished his course of study at the school in 1575. In 1576, he went to Gray’s Inn to study law. However, he found the curriculum at the school to be too old-fashioned.
Bacon’s Educational Years
One year after joining with Gray’s Inn, Bacon dropped out of school to work at the learning institution. He also traveled to France as a part of the British ambassador’s suite. Two years later, he was forced to return to England when his father died. Bacon was 18 years old when his father passed away in 1576, leaving him broke. He turned to his uncle for help in finding a well-paying job as a governor, but his uncle let him down.
Still a teen, Bacon was struggling to find a means of earning a living. After working for a while, he returned to Gray’s Inn to finish his education. By 1582, he was given the position of an outer barrister. While his political career was successful, Bacon had other philosophical and political ambitions. He joined politics but he suffered a major setback because of his objections to raise the military budget, a stand that displeased Queen Elizabeth.
Bacon and Politics
Francis Bacon served as a member of parliament for almost 40 years, during which time he was active in politics, royal court, and law. In 1603, three years before he married his fiancé, Alice Barnham, he was knighted upon James I’s ascension to the British throne. Bacon continued to work his way up fast, attaining solicitor general in 1607 and attorney six years later. His career peaked in 1616 when he joined the Privy Council. A year later, he became Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, a position his father held before he died. In 1618, he was appointed Lord Chancellor, one of England’s highest political seats.
Bacon’s Political Career Falls
In 1621, Bacon was accused of graft. It is believed that Bacon was set up by his political enemies, and was used as a scapegoat by his opponents. He was charged for accepting bribes and he pleaded guilty to the charges. He was fined 40,000 pounds and sentenced. Fortunately, his fine was lifted and his sentence was reduced. Four days after imprisonment, he walked to freedom at the expense of his reputation as well as his long-standing place in Parliament.
Life after Politics
Bacon retired from politics after the collapse of his political career. He was now able to focus on philosophy. Since childhood, Bacon was determined to transform the face of philosophy. He created a new outline for sciences with the focus on empirical scientific methodologies – methodologies that largely depend on touchable proof.
Unlike many philosophers, his approach placed a lot of emphasis on interaction and experimentation. His new scientific approach entailed collecting data, analyzing it carefully, and carrying out experiments to observe the truths of nature in an organized manner.
Bacon’s Greatest Achievements
Francis Bacon is known as the father of contemporary science. He initiated a huge reformation of each and every process of knowledge. As an inventor of empiricism, he made a set of inductive and empirical methods for setting off scientific inquiry, commonly known now as the Baconian method.
Bacon’s call for a plotted process of addressing issues with an empiricist naturalistic way had a big impact on theoretical and rhetorical framework for science. Also, he served as a philosophical inspiration behind the development of the Industrial Age.