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    Baconianism and the Royal Society

    Number of Pages: 4


    Summary of the research paper:

    A paper which considers whether or not the Royal Society could be regarded as following Baconian scientific principles and the effect which Bacon had on scientific thought and methodology. Bibliography lists 5 sources

    Name of Research Paper File: JL5_JLbacon.rtf

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    pattern for scientific establishments all over Europe, with the English Royal Society being replicated in "mini-Baconian" systems in Scotland and Ireland. One might therefore assume that such a pattern must  be inherently superior to others, simply by virtue of its almost universal adoption.  Kampis (2004) describes Bacon as seeing himself as a "kindler of light in nature", such a light being used to disclose, eventually,  all the secrets of the universe. The Baconian method involved the collection and interpretation of data and the conducting of experiments, so that the secrets of the natural world would  be revealed through the structured observation of natural phenomena. Clearly, this is a highly structured model, and in theory one should easily be able to establish whether or not the  Royal Society conforms to it. However, this is not necessarily the case.  For example, Lynch (2001) maintains that criticisms of the Royal Society on the grounds that it is not Baconian in its methodology are  inaccurate: the problem is, he asserts, that such critics have not understood the Baconian method in the first place. He states that methods which are considered as deviations from the  Baconian model are, in fact, the result of observers failure to properly understand Baconianism. The three fellows he describes, whose methods "pulled in different directions" and apparently undermined the unity  of the Societys approach are, he asserts, all genuine Baconians after all. Henry (2004) however criticises Lynchs position on the grounds that the existence of non-Baconian methods in the Society 

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