Roger Bacon

Roger Bacon Facts

Born: circa 1214
Died: 1292 (age 78)
Period: Early modern
Genre: Science

Roger Bacon Summary

Roger was an English savant and Franciscan minister who set extensive accentuation on the investigations of nature through empirical techniques. Primarily since the nineteenth century, he is sometimes credited as one of the earliest-known European supporters of the modern day “scientific method”, a strategy created by Aristotle and used late by Arabic researchers such as the Muslim researcher Alhazen. However, later re-assessments stress that he was basically a medieval thinker, with a lot of his exploratory information acquired from books during the period. A recent review of how Bacon’s work was received by the public throughout the hundreds of years was noted that it frequently mirrored the concerns and contentions that were fundamental to his readers.

Roger Bacon was conceived in Ilchester in Somerset, England, between 1213 or 1214 at the Ilchester Friary. The only known information in regards to his birth is his announcement in the 1267 biography Opus Tertium, saying “forty years have passed since I first learned alphabet”. The 1214 conception date is implied that 40 years had passed since he registered at Oxford at age 13. On the other hand, if what he stated was more in the literal sense, then it is more probable that he was conceived around 1220 to 1222, however the number forty was generally utilized in the Middle Ages basically as an equivalent word for “many”, leaving his real date of conception in uncertainty. In the same entry he said that for all except two of the forty years he had been occupied with his studies. His family seems to have been fortunate, however amid the difficult rule of Henry III of England, their property was seized and a few relatives driven out of the country.

Bacon acquired his education at Oxford and he may have been a supporter of Grosseteste, another English philosopher. He earned his Masters at Oxford, becoming a lecturer on Aristotle. There is no known confirmation that he was ever honored a doctorate—the title of Doctor Mirabilis was awarded post-mortem and non-literal. At some point around 1237 and 1245, he started his lectures at the University of Paris, where back then was core of European knowledge on intellectual life. It is unknown what his whereabouts were sometime around 1247 and 1256, however around 1256 he chose to leave behind his teaching post to become a monk in the Franciscan Order. After 1260, his actions were confined by a Franciscan statute, which forbade ministers from distributing books or leaflets without approval.

Bacon evaded this statute through his fellow cardinals, one of them being Guy le Gros de Foulques, who went on to become Pope Clement IV in 1265. Clement IV then issued a command requesting Bacon to keep in touch with him concerning the spot of logic inside philosophy. Bacon sent the Pope his book called Opus Majus, which introduced his perspectives on the best way to consolidate the reasoning of Aristotle and science into another theology. Bacon likewise sent another book called Opus Minus, De multiplicatione specierum, and probably more books on astrology and alchemy.

After Pope Clement’s passing in 1268, Bacon lost his best supporter and protector. Sooner or later around 1277 and 1279, Bacon was evidently detained or subjected to house arrest for his over-the-top credulity in speculative chemistry and for his brutal treatment for other would-be pioneers of his time. In 1278 Bacon returned to the Franciscan House at Oxford, where he resumed his studies and is speculated to have spent his remaining days. He is said to have passed away in June of 1292 (the year of his last dated written work, Compendium studii theologiae) and laid to rest in Oxford.