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Descartes vs. Bacon on Rationalism vs. Empiricism & “Man’s Conquest of Nature”

Peter Kreeft

April 6, 2023


In lecture 6, Dr. Kreeft contrasts Descartes, who is universally known as the father of modern philosophy and a rationalist, and Bacon, who is an empiricist. These two philosophers, though taking opposite epistemological approaches, find agreement in their view of the greatest good of human life—the conquest and mastering of nature.

In this lecture series, Dr. Peter Kreeft examines key ideas in philosophy by comparing and contrasting two representative philosophers in each episode.

To learn more about these philosophers and the other major philosophers who helped shape the world, check out Dr. Kreeft’s book series, “Socrates’ Children: An Introduction to Philosophy from the 100 Greatest Philosophers.”