Bacon's late writings served as the foundation for a new scientific culture, the way he had hoped. Any significant step in humanity's progress has to be imagined in an almost mystical vision of what could be before people realize it. In Novum Organum, Francis outlined the new scientific method; in New Atlantis, he described a scientific culture in a very idealized, perfect fashion. The vision, however, had to wait for forty years until a group of philosophers, scientists, and philanthropists inspired by his ideas, founded the Royal Society in 1667. In the last five years of his life, Francis had written almost solely in Latin, and even translated certain English writings into what was then considered the Universal Language. As a result, he was widely known and admired on the continent; thus were the seeds sown for a pan-European scientific movement.

In the Enlightenment era, Francis became a symbol for reason and science: being reduced to a symbol; his actual philosophy was frequently misunderstood and unread. His classical learning and poetic use of language were neglected, as well as the comprehensive scheme of his Great Instauration. In the 19th century Romantic reaction against Enlightenment-era rationalism, Francis was re-evaluated as a symbol like a mere precursor of scientific reasoning. In line with this, prejudice was seen as greedy and unpoetic.

Organization of knowledge

Francis Bacon was the one who developed the idea that a classification of knowledge must be universal while handling all possible resources. In his progressive view, humanity would be better if the access to educational resources were provided to the public, hence the need to organize it. His approach to learning reshaped the Western view of knowledge theory from an individual to a social interest. The initial classification proposed by Francis divided all types of knowledge into three general groups: history, poetry, and philosophy. He did that based on his understanding of how humans are processing the information: memory, imagination, and reason, respectively. His systematic approach to the categorization of knowledge aligns with his principles of scientific methods. Bacon's writings were the starting point for William Torrey Harris's classification system for libraries in the United States by the second half of the 1800s.


Although few of his proposals for law reform were adopted during his lifetime, Bacon's legal legacy was later considered as having influenced the drafting of the Napoleonic Code as well as the law reforms introduced by 19th-century British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. The historian William Hepworth Dixon described the Napoleonic Code as "the sole embodiment of Bacon's thought."