Philosophy Index

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon (1561–1626) was an English philosopher and politician. Francis was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper to Queen Elizabeth I.

Bacon held office as a member of Parliament in 1584. Bacon believed in his obligation to the state above most else: he opposed of Elizabeth's tax program, despite the fact that it held back his political career.

In following years, with James I as the throne's successor, Bacon's career in politics saw better days. He was knighted in 1603, and became attorney general ten years later—then lord keeper in 1617 and lord chancellor in 1618.

His career came to a halt in 1621, however, when he was accused of accepting bribes. He was plead guilty, and was fined £40,000 and sentenced to serve time in the Tower of London. His fine and sentence were later dropped, but Bacon was still unable to serve as a statesman. He retired, and spent much of his time writing various pieces of philosophical and literary value.

To philosophy, Bacon's contributions were his critiques of the scientific process, insisting that all possibilities must be accounted for when detailing a theory. The New Atlantis (1627) describes his scientific utopia. The New Atlantis and The Essays are Bacon's best-known works.

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Name: Francis Bacon
Born: January 22, 1561, London
Died: April 9, 1626
Office: Attorney General (1613-1617),
Lord Chancellor (1618-1621)