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The Core Curriculum

Statue of Francis Bacon, Empiricist, St. Michael’s Church in St. Albans.

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Memorial to Francis Bacon in the Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, the statue is a copy of a statue by Sir Thomas Meautys displayed in St. Michael’s Church in St. Albans. 

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a man of many disparate scholarly and political pursuits: a natural philosopher, jurist, statesman, and scientific revolutionary. His magnum opus, the Novam Organum, was instrumental in shaping modern scientific methodology through its development of the empirically sensitive method of eliminative induction, wherein nature was to examined through myriad experiments, moving from particular observations towards the elaboration of more general axioms and laws. This new experimental method, borrowed originally from jurisprudential procedures, inverted the then popular scholastic methodology, which began with general laws and attempted to interpret nature in light of these laws. Through his connections with the Cavendish family, Hobbes became acquainted with Bacon in the years before the latter’s death and translated some of Bacon’s work into Latin. Readers of the Leviathan will note the influence of Bacon’s methodology in Hobbes’s approach of developing his political theory up from the particulars of human psychology to the general laws of Absolute Sovereignty.


via Wikimedia Commons.

Contemporaneous Resource
Access Level: 
Public Domain