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Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount Saint Alban, (22 January 1561 -- 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and father of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Although his political career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method and pioneer in the scientific revolution.
Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today. His dedication probably led to his death, bringing him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments.
Bacon was knighted in 1603, and created both the Baron Verulam in 1618, and the Viscount St Alban in 1621; as he died without heirs both peerages became extinct upon his death. He famously died of pneumonia contracted while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat.
The Story of Philosophy: the Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers is a book by Will Durant that profiles several prominent Western philosophers and their ideas, beginning with Plato and on through Friedrich Nietzsche. Durant attempts to show the interconnection of their ideas and how one philosopher's ideas informed the next.
Philosophers profiled are, in order: Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Voltaire (with a section on Rousseau), Immanuel Kant (with a section on Hegel), Arthur Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
The final two chapters are devoted to European and then American philosophers. Henri Bergson, Benedetto Croce, and Bertrand Russell are covered in the tenth, and George Santayana, William James, and John Dewey are covered in the eleventh.