The Scientific Revolution

Topics: Scientific method, René Descartes, Mind Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: December 12, 2005
The beginnings of the Scientific Revolution date back to 1543, when Copernicus first suggested that the sun was the center of the universe. While this was said to be a radical idea, the ideas and philosophies that belonged to Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes were far more radical. Both men are considered to be revolutionaries of the period.

Bacon's work Novum Organum, Latin for "new instrument" was first published in 1620, the title was referring to the human mind. The laws of nature can only be discovered by "questioning nature herself and not by arguing..." Bacon said. He proposed a new method of "induction" to arrive at answers. Previously, scientists had started with a broad question or subject and skipped around until they came to a specific answer. This often led to overlooking or leaving out important facts and ideas. Bacon said that induction was the proper way to go about "driving out Idols of the Mind," which was the discussion of prejudices. Bacon felt this was slowing down the progression of the sciences.

Bacon believed that another reason that the sciences were not progressing was because there was no fixed end. He said that the "true and genuine End of the Sciences" is to enrich human life with "new inventions and new powers." Another reason that Bacon blamed on the slow progression was that people used the information for their own benefit. In addition to this, Bacon criticized the education system. He said that there were too many particulars with the old method and that the minds were not prepared for this.

Bacon's proposition of the new method was a counter of medieval sciences, otherwise knows as the old method. The old method consisted of finding truth based in logic. This method which had been instituted by the church started with a premise and built upon the original assumption. Bacon's new method was called induction. Induction is the process of starting with specifics and gradually moving to the more general subject. In the old...

Bibliography: Frances Bacon, "A Discourse On Method"
Rene Descartes, "Novum Organum"
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