Now this twofold influence of Galileo is the most important source of what is new in modern philosophy. Bacon and Locke were philosophical observers, trusting sense above reason, and animated by the spirit of discovery. Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza were mathematical philosophers, advocates of reason, not so much concerned at first to widen knowledge as to make it more certain.

Bacon (1561-1626) was the founder of modern “empiricism,” or the philosophy of sense-experience. He criticized those faults of his age that he thought stood in the way of clear seeing, such faults as verbalism, anthropomorphism, or undue regard for tradition and authority. He formulated a new “Organon” (“Novum Organum”〖H. C., xxxix, 116, 143.〗), a logic and methodology which was to correct and supplement the Aristotelian organon, and afford a basis for scientific procedure. But Bacon was significant not so much for what he formulated as for what he prophesied. He was the first to dream that magnificent dream which has been so largely realized in the course of the last century: the dream of the progressive control of nature through the patient and self-denying study of it. The kingdom of man, the “New Atlantis,”〖H. C., iii, 143.〗 is to be founded on knowledge. “Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known, the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause, is in operation as the rule.” Observe nature in order that you may use nature, thus converting it into the habitation, instrument, and treasure of man. Here is the supreme maxim of our modern world, and the chief ground of its peculiar confidence and hopefulness.

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