Western Culture Global Presents

The Top 100 Heroes of Western Culture
These individuals have most contributed to replacing ignorance with knowledge, savagery with civilization, disease with health, tyranny with liberty, poverty with abundance, and despair with happiness.



#26: Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Francis Bacon was an English philosopher and scientist who made important contributions to the development of the scientific method and the establishing of a scientific worldview.

Bacon's main contribution was his emphasis on and application of induction, or knowledge that begins from empirical sense experience. Bacon argued that valid knowledge must be empirically rooted in the natural world. While this is ultimately true, Bacon failed to give importance to the role that deduction and hypothesis play in the scientific method.

Nevertheless, his emphasis on induction helped to solidify a more fact- and reality-based method and worldview in the culture, and this was a vast improvement over the scholasticism and otherworldliness which had been culturally dominant.

In addition, Bacon emphasized the benevolence of scientific understanding in that science could give man substantial control over nature, and consequently improve the human condition. Or in his famous words, "Knowledge is power." (The Industrial Revolution would later prove Bacon entirely correct on this issue.)

Bacon helped to make possible the Scientific Revolution and, consequently, the unprecedented benefits it has bestowed and continues to bestow on humanity.



Go to #27: Thucydides


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