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2 definitions found
 for Roger Bacon
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Bacon \Bacon\, Roger Bacon \Roger Bacon\prop. n.
     Roger Bacon. A celebrated English philosopher of the
     thirteenth century. Born at or near Ilchester, Somersetshire,
     about 1214: died probably at Oxford in 1294. He is credited
     with a recognition of the importance of experiment in
     answering questions about the natural world, recognized the
     potential importance of gunpowder and explosives generally,
     and wrote comments about several of the physical sciences
     that anticipated facts proven by experiment only much later.
     [PJC]
  
           The Franciscan monk, Roger Bacon (c. 1214 - 1294) was
           an important transitional figure in chemistry as he was
           trained in the alchemical tradition, but introduced
           many of the modern concepts of experimental science.
           Bacon believed that experiment was necessary to support
           theory, but for him the theory as presented in the
           Bible was true and the experiment only underlined that
           truth. One of Bacon's lasting contributions was his
           references to gunpowder, bringing this discovery to the
           general attention of literate Europeans.
           Gunpowder had been known for centuries in China, being
           used for fireworks and incendiary grenades. Gunpowder
           is a simple mixture of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium
           nitrate (known generally as saltpeter). Saltpeter is a
           major component of guano (bird droppings) and may be
           recovered from privies where it will crystallize. By
           1324, Europeans had discovered the art of using
           gunpowder to fire a projectile, marking the end of the
           period of castles and knights in armor.  --Prof. Tom
                                                    Bitterwolf,
                                                    Univ. of Idaho
                                                    (Post-class
                                                    notes, 1999).
     [PJC]
  
           Roger Bacon was Born at or near Ilchester,
           Somersetshire, about 1214: died probably at Oxford in
           1294. He was educated at Oxford and Paris (whence he
           appears to have returned to England about 1250), and
           joined the Franciscan order. In 1257 he was sent by his
           superiors to Paris where he was kept in close
           confinement for several years. About 1265 he was
           invited by Pope Clement IV. to write a general treatise
           on the sciences, in answer to which he composed his
           chief work, the "Opus Majus." He was in England in
           1268. In 1278 his writings were condemned as heretical
           by a council of his order, in consequence of which he
           was again placed in confinement. He was at liberty in
           1292. Besides the "Opus Majus," his most notable works
           are "Opus Minus," "Opus Tertium," and "Compendium
           Philosophiae." See Siebert, "Roger Bacon," 1861; Held,
           "Roger Bacon's Praktische Philosophie," 1881; and L.
           Schneider, "Roger Bacon," 1873.          --Century
                                                    Dict. 1906.
     [PJC]
  
           Dr. Whewell says that Roger Bacon's Opus Majus is "the
           encyclopedia and Novam Organon of the Thirteenth
           Century, a work equally wonderful with regard to its
           general scheme and to the special treatises with which
           the outlines of the plans are filled up.[sb] The
           professed object of the work is to urge the necessity
           of a reform in the mode of philosophizing, to set forth
           the reasons why knowledge had not made a greater
           progress, to draw back attention to the sources of
           knowledge which had been unwisely neglected, to
           discover other sources which were yet almost untouched,
           and to animate men in the undertaking by a prospect of
           the vast advantages which it offered.[sb] In the
           development of this plan all the leading portions of
           science are expanded in the most complete shape which
           they had at that time assumed; and improvements of a
           very wide and striking kind are proposed in some of the
           principal branches of study.[sb] Even if the work had
           no leading purposes it would have been highly valuable
           as a treasure of the most solid knowledge and soundest
           speculations of the time; even if it bad contained no
           such details it would have been a work most remarkable
           for its general views and scope."        --James J.
                                                    Walsh
                                                    (Thirteenth
                                                    Greatest of
                                                    Centuries,
                                                    1913.
     [PJC] Bacon

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  Roger Bacon
      n 1: English scientist and Franciscan monk who stressed the
           importance of experimentation; first showed that air is
           required for combustion and first used lenses to correct
           vision (1220-1292) [syn: Bacon, Roger Bacon]

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