Two Ideologies: Empiricism.Rationalism

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Empiricism and rationalism. The method of Francis Bacon was empiricism, stressing on the use of experiments and experience to find knowledge, while excluding innate ideas. While Bacon used empiricism, Rene Descartes’ method of choice was rationalism, the learning of knowledge through deductive reasoning. Francis Bacon has been regarded as the father of empiricism and of experimentation in science, and Descartes, father of modern philosophy and modern mathematics. Francis Bacon was a lawyer, a high royal official and the author of histories, moral essays and philosophical discourses. His accomplishments impacted the world greatly and his influence is still felt today in the modern world. He created an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, called the Baconian Method, or known by many as the scientific method. Bacon believed that scholastic thinkers paid to much attention to tradition and to the knowledge of the ancients. He urged contemporaries to go on their own in search of a new understanding of nature. He opposed dogma, or an established belief, and believed the only way to find truth was through experiment. Bacon admired change and innovation, and opposed relying on the people and methods of the past. While Bacon was a lawyer, Descartes was a mathematician, and invented analytic geometry. Descartes developed a scientific method, as well, one that relied more on deduction than empirical observation and induction. He rejected scholastic philosophy and education and believed in thought founded on a mathematical model. Descartes concluded that he could not doubt the existence of his thinking and his existence and from this he proceeded to deduce the existence of God. Descartes’ deductive methodology, however, eventually lost in favor to scientific induction.


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