Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes

2288 Words Mar 22nd, 2012 10 Pages
| Connections and Contrasts of Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes | | | |

The Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences is one of the most influential works in the history of modern philosophy, and important to the evolution of natural sciences. In this work, Descartes tackles the problem of skepticism. Descartes modified it to account for a truth he found to be incontrovertible. Descartes started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions. Whereas Francis Bacon’s Scientific Method wanted to replace the deductive reasoning by inductive reasoning. The important concept in this reformed
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It is still practiced in some universities and will be practiced up until the 18th century at least. Three fundamental changes have occurred during the Renaissance; Aristotle portrayed the understanding of the universe, Galen described the importance of medicine and to understand astronomy Ptolemy described it.
In 200 years there has been a revolutionary change, Rene Descartes and Isaac Newton have replaced Ptolemy in astronomy. Galileo has replaced Aristotle in physics. Harvey has replaced Galen in medicine. The three ancient authorities have been over thrown.
In Rene Descartes’ Discourse on Method he expresses his disappointment with traditional philosophy and with the limitations of theology; only logic, geometry and algebra hold his respect, because of the utter certainty which they can offer us. Unfortunately, because they depend on hypotheses, they cannot tell us what is real, i.e. what the world is really like. Therefore Descartes suggests a method of thought combining the consistency of mathematics but based on natural truths about what is real, basic knowledge which could not be wrong (like the axioms of geometry). He calls into question everything that he thinks he has learned through his senses but rests his entire system on the one truth that he cannot doubt, namely, the reality of his own mind and the radical difference between the mental and the physical aspects of the world.
What is crucial to Descartes is

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