Essays or Counsels, Civill and Morall by Francis Bacon

Date of Publication: 1629

English philosopher, statesman, and essayist. 

Violently opposed to speculative philosophies and the syllogistic quibbling of the Schoolmen, Bacon argues that the only knowledge of importance to man was empirically rooted in the natural world and that this knowledge should be amassed and studied in a judicious, systematic fashion.  For Bacon, a clear system of scientific inquiry would assure man’s mastery over the natural world.  He deplored generalizations that might obscure the exceptions to every rule and vigorously sought the negative for every positive, in order to bring both into a unified system of thought.  In these respects, his ideas anticipated aspects of utilitarianism, particularly in the work of John Stuart Mill. #0032