This article is a comparative study of the philosophical views on learning and learning methods elaborated by Wang Yangming and Francis Bacon. It argues that as different criteria for the advancement of learning Bacon's empirical learning and Wang's “learning of the heart-mind” represent two different philosophical orientations, and are responsible, at least partially, for laying down the basis for the parting ways of China and Europe at the dawn of the modern era. It concludes that an appreciation of the mutual complementarity rather than opposition between these two philosophical approaches will be a sign for the new and real advancement of learning.