Francis Bacon

Born in London, England in 1561, Francis Bacon was in many ways the epitome of the “Renaissance Man.” Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Gray’s Inn, one of the fours Inns of Court in London, he was a lawyer (barrister in English parlance), a Member of Parliament, Attorney General, and Lord Chancellor of England before he was disgraced by a scandal that landed him in the Tower of London, albeit briefly. He was a reasonably prolific author, a jurist, and a philosopher. But he is perhaps best known for the role he played during the Scientific Revolution and for his contribution to science. In fact, through works such as the Novum Organum, Bacon advocated what is often called “the scientific method” or the “Baconian method.” Bacon’s method was essentially inductive reasoning or inductive method by which one started with the “facts” or as large a body of facts as is possible and then the facts would be organized and classified and used to develop theories to explain what was being observed (review the relevant sections of Episode 5 of the A History of Science in Society series). In 1627, Bacon published New Atlantis, a treatise (really a novel) about a group of shipwrecked sailors in a fictional place called Bensalem. Many scholars believe that Bacon wrote the book to show the potential promise of his new scientific method. Your task in this assignment is to analyze and assess the significance of Bacon’s New Atlantis. What sort of society is Bacon portraying? What is the underlying argument of the book? What connection does New Atlantis have with the Scientific Revolution itself? The text is available through the course digital reading room or you can get it online at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=2434. For this essay you should consult outside sources but please be sure to follow the guidelines set out at the beginning of the assignments section. Use the link to New Atlantis as the Primary source. Consult outside sources and position yourself in regards to them. This is an essay for History. Please use footnotes for references. Use Francis Bacon’s novel ” New Atlantis ” as the primary source for the paper. Consult other academic sources that are not too old and develop your critical stance around them.

Francis Bacon played an influential role in the Renaissance period. Referred to as a Renaissance man meant that Bacon was a renowned man and a patron in various fields in the society. Bacon struggled in his endeavors to define a new method that would facilitate gaining the truth about the natural world. During the medieval period, most material produced by writers contributed to individualistic and ambiguous insights. Bacon developed a new way of finding out secrets that were embedded in nature using the knowhow he had acquired from past authors as well as his lifelong experiences[1]. Among the key players of the Renaissance period, Bacon was acknowledged as a founder of present political ideologies. Despite creation innovative models of logical inquiry, Bacon also established outlines on which the contemporary civilization could be enriched to facilitate and stimulate technical growth[2]. To understand the impact Bacon’s achievements created in the society, this article aims to review and discuss his fictional novel named New Atlantis.

                                    The significance of Bacon’s New Atlantis

The New Atlantis was published in 1627 by Dr. Rowley, who worked as the literary executor of Francis Bacon. The purpose for writing the New Atlantis was to portray the picture Bacon had for an ideal commonwealth. The country is represented by the fictional habitat called Bensalem that shows a community characterized by generosity, education, dignity, devotion, and a high public spirit. Such a community shows the people the values and ambitions that Bacon advocated for[3]. The New Atlantis marks Bacon’s switch to an expressive approach of presenting the innovative science as well as the latent political repercussions of scientific ambitions[4]. The significance of the New Atlantis is a presentation of Bacon’s proposal to establish a better community capable of incorporating a new ideas in politics that run the society. The story in the publication shows a company of European sailors lost at sea. However they get relief reaching a foreign Island known as Bensalem. The Island is a enigmatic place reigned by a scientific organization referred to as the Salomon’s House[5].  Through the New Atlantis, Bacon shows that his anticipated nature of the society would not change the traditional England system, but rather it would incorporate internal scientific principles and engage efforts that would encourage people to understand the natural world and the human nature. Therefore, the New Atlantis is a reflection of where Bacon’s vision would lead the community by expressing his hopes and reservations. Fundamentally, the publication made it easy for the people to understand the philosophy and the poetic approach enabled Bacon to communicate what was not visible[6].

The Society Portrayed by Bacon in the New Atlantis            

The society represented in the New Atlantis is not devised to be an example of developing modern societies….


[1]  (Merchant 2008)

[2]  (Hurd 2005)

[3]  ( Bacon 1627)

[4] (Hurd 2005)

[5] ( Bacon 1627)

[6]  (Hurd 2005)

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