The Novum Organum


The Novum Organum represents the summit of Francis Bacon's works. The title is taken from Aristotle's Organum, meaning "logical works", and accordingly signals a radical departure from the traditional method of scientific inquiry, a new method for scientific investigation to replace the old and faulty one of Aristotle. This work was part of Bacon’s plan to reorganize the sciences. The Novum Organum introduced a new method of logic to learning, to replace the old ways which had borne so little fruit.

 

He pointed to errors in thought that had to be corrected in order for man to advance. Observation was to be the cornerstone of scientific method.

 

Newton, who is usually contrasted with Bacon, said he was a Baconian and his own logic machine, the Calculus, was produced through a Baconian eliminative process.

 

Bacon’s Novum Organum is an information processing system. The New Organum is a protocol, much like an expert system in today’s artificial intelligence systems.

 

Kant’s later revolution in thought in Critique of Pure Reason applied an adaptation of Bacon’s approach to create his own revolution in thought. Bacon saw science as an autonomous social institution. Today’s research laboratories process information and conduct empirical research in the same way Bacon prescribed.