megz j asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Who was Roger Bacon? What ideas of Galen did he challenge?

I have him in my notes as challenging galen in the middle ages however i can't find what idea he challenged. please help me.

thank you

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    The essence of Baconian philosophy is induction: instead of deducing the nature of Nature from authorities like Aristotle and Galen, scientists should build from the ground up. Gather facts. Measure things. Collect and organize observational evidence, then build a hypothesis to explain them. Test all hypotheses against the facts. Bacon was convinced this method would provide a more certain path to truth than trust in fallible human reason, and would issue in a golden age of discovery. The scientific method we learn in school is largely Baconian: gather observations, make a hypothesis to explain them, test the hypothesis, and reject all causes inconsistent with the observations. Hypotheses that pass empirical tests can advance to theories and laws.

    Philosophy of science has changed and matured quite a bit since Bacon, and philosophers continue to debate what constitutes science vs pseudoscience. The Baconian ideal seems a little simplistic and impractical; we now recognize the need for scientific theories to make predictions, and the requirement for falsifiability in hypotheses. No matter; the value of Bacon’s method was seen in its fruits: major new discoveries in chemistry, physics, biology and astronomy; the founding of new branches of science; the overturning of long-held false beliefs, and new institutions like the Royal Society. One of the ironies of history was that the other Bacon in our series (Roger Bacon), had promoted the same value of experimental science three and a half centuries earlier. It would make a good research project to look for any connections or influences of Roger on Sir Francis, other than that they were both Englishmen.

    But doesn’t the rejection of authority shoot down Bacon’s own belief in the authority of the Bible? Skeptics sometimes portray early Christian founders of science as closet doubters who made a show of Christian piety to keep out of trouble. According to this view, Bacon sugar-coated his scientific philosophy with Biblical words to make it more palatable to the religious authorities. If that were so, Bacon would not have written elegant poetry, apparently from the depths of his soul, praising God and the Bible. John Henry makes no such intimation that Bacon was a hypocrite. From his research, the Biblical world view was the foundation of Bacon’s scientific philosophy, not its pretext. Interestingly, continental scholars like Descartes and some more skeptical of the Bible disagreed with Bacon’s advocacy of induction and empiricism, placing more value on human reason.

    But again, what of Biblical authority? To Francis Bacon, the Bible provided a view of God, the world, and man that made science a noble duty. Nature was God’s finely crafted machine, and God had given man the aptitude and duty to discover its workings. Human reason alone was insufficient; it needed to be guided by Bible doctrine on the nature of God and the world, and by observation of the Creator’s laws. The very belief in natural laws was a legacy of the Scriptures. Sir Francis believed that, in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, man would increase in knowledge in the last days by casting off unbiblical authorities like Aristotle and investigating God’s natural revelation (creation) with minds that had been created in His image.

    Consider again the Biblical basis of the three foundations of Bacon’s philosophy described in the title of Henry’s biography: (1) “magic” (a poor choice of words), meaning religious belief, which Stewart calls a “profound underpinning” of Bacon’s philosophy; (2) “government,” underscoring the God-given responsibility of governments to work for the good of the people; (3) “apocalyptic vision,” the belief that Daniel’s prophecy should inspire us to advance knowledge for the good of mankind. While the Bible does not propose a scientific method, it provides the fundamental view of God, man, and the world that makes scientific progress both possible and desirable. “The works of the Lord are great,” writes the author of Psalm 111:2, “studied by all who delight in them.”

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  • hogge
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Roger Bacon Facts

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    HE WAS:

    (born c. 1220, Ilchester, Somerset, or Bisley, Gloucester?, Eng. — died 1292, Oxford) English scientist and philosopher. He was educated at Oxford and the University of Paris and joined the Franciscan order in 1247. He displayed a prodigious energy and zeal in the pursuit of experimental science; his studies eventually won him a place in popular literature as a worker of wonders. He was the first European to describe in detail the process of making gunpowder, and he proposed flying machines and motorized ships and carriages. He therefore represents a historically precocious expression of the empirical spirit of experimental science, even though his actual practice of it seems to have been exaggerated. His philosophical thought was essentially Aristotelian, though he was critical of the methods of theologians such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, arguing that a more accurate experimental knowledge of nature would be of great value in confirming the Christian faith. He also wrote on mathematics and logic. He was condemned to prison c. 1277 by his fellow Franciscans because of "suspected novelties" in his teaching.


    The above link has info on him from several encyclopedias


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