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Baconian method

Baconian methodThe Baconian method is the investigative method developed by Sir Francis Bacon. The method was put forward in Bacon's book Novum Organum (1620), or 'New Method', and was supposed to replace the methods put forward in Aristotle's Organon. This method was influential upon the development of scientific method in modern science, but also more generally in the early modern rejection of medieval Aristotelianism.

Theory Explanation:
The Baconian method advocates "inductive reasoning". By reasoning using "induction" Bacon meant the ability to gradually generalize a finding based on accumulating data - he advised proceeding by this method (building a case from the ground up). Isaac Newton, a noted Baconian, used such principles in the Philosophy section of his Principia, writing "hypotheses non fingo" (I don't make hypotheses). He also wrote in his Optiks that "hypotheses have no place in experimental science." Bacon wrote (In the Novum Organum) that, "Our only hope, then is in genuine Induction... There is the same degree of licentiousness and error in forming Axioms, as in abstracting Notions: and that in the first principles, which depend in common induction. Still more is this the case in Axioms and inferior propositions derived from Syllogisms." (see for example, aphorism XVII of the Novum Organum)
The method consists of procedures for isolating and further investigating the form nature, or cause, of a phenomenon, including the method of agreement, method of difference, and method of concomitant variation.
Bacon suggests that you draw up a list of all things in which the phenomenon you are trying to explain occurs, as well as a list of things in which it does not occur. Then you rank your lists according to the degree in which the phenomenon occurs in each one. Then you should be able to deduce what factors match the occurrence of the phenomenon in one list and don't occur in the other list, and also what factors change in accordance with the way the data had been ranked.
Thus, if an army is successful when commanded by Essex, and not successful when not commanded by Essex: and when it is more or less successful according to the degree of involvement of Essex as its commander, then it is scientifically reasonable to say that being commanded by Essex is causally related to the army's success.
From this Bacon suggests that the underlying cause of the phenomenon, what he calls the "form," can be approximated by interpreting the results of one's observations. This approximation Bacon calls the "First Vintage." It is not a final conclusion about the formal cause of the phenomenon but merely a hypothesis. It is only the first stage in the attempt to find the form and it must be scrutinized and compared to other hypotheses. In this manner, the truth of natural philosophy is approached "by gradual degrees," as stated in his Novum Organum.
The "Baconian method" does not end at the first vintage. Bacon described numerous classes of Instances with Special Powers, cases in which the phenomenon one is attempting to explain is particularly relevant. These instances, of which Bacon describes 27 in Novum Organum, aid and accelerate the process of induction.
Aside from the First Vintage and the Instances with Special Powers, Bacon enumerates additional "aids to the intellect" which presumably are the next steps in his method. These additional aids, however, were never explained beyond their initial limited appearance in Novum Organum.

•    Type→ Basic Science
•    Theorist→ Francis Bacon
•    Date →1561-1626

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