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Francis Bacon's Utilitarianism Essay

  • Submitted by: Myithili
  • on February 25, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,375 words

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Below is an essay on "Francis Bacon's Utilitarianism" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The transition from the stronghold of the Church and its imposed dogmas into the early modern era with its investigative sciences and discoveries marked the huge shift from fear (of the unknown; or of God) to achievement, a desire to overcome the unknown. This spirit of adventure, of new beginnings and enterprises in every field, broke the barriers between what humans “ought” to know and what they can know. Along with the mariners venturing out to unknown territories, we therefore see other changes such as alchemy transmuted into chemistry, of astrology turning towards astronomy or the fables of speaking animals leading to what is called the science of zoology. Among the many leading figures that brought about these changes, particularly influential were Roger Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Copernicus, Galileo and William Harvey. It was Francis Bacon however, the most powerful mind of modern times who “rang the bell that called the wits together” and announced that Europe had come of age. (Durant, Will, The Story of Philosophy, 2006:134). As Bacon says in The Advancement of Learning, “But that little vessels, like celestial bodies, should sail round the whole globe, is the happiness of our age. These times may justly use plus ultra (more beyond) where the ancients used non plus ultra” ( Durant, Will, The Story of Philosophy, 2006:134).

Born on January 22, 1561, at York house, London, Bacon’s father Sir Nicholas Bacon was Keeper of the Great Seal for the first twenty years of Elizabethan’s reign and his mother Lady Anne Cooke was a linguist and theologian. At the age of twelve he was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge and stayed there for three years. He left Cambridge however, with a strong dislike of its texts and methods, revealing hostility towards the cult of Aristotle. Thereafter, he resolved, as Will Durant says, “to set philosophy into a more fertile path, to turn it from scholastic disputation to the illumination and increase of human good” (Durant, The...

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