Analysis of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis Essay Sample

Humankind can easy be characterized by its captivation with unaccountable phenomenon. Throughout history. all finds have been conducted by work forces who were unable to accept the present accounts for different worlds and felt constrained by bing boundaries. Francis Bacon is no alien to this unconditioned captivation with the unknown and attractive force to the elements which lie beyond the confines of human apprehension.

This controversial figure of the late 16 and early seventeenth century in England was credited with inciting the development of what is known as modern scientific discipline today. After being impeached for accepting graft as one of the highest law officers for king James I. he concentrated the ulterior parts of his life on the development of natural doctrine. The law officer and philosopher wrote many influential essays. such as “The Great Instauration” and “the New Organon” which explained his attack to a practical and theoretical undertaking to reform the manner work forces study nature. Based on those essays. he composed his lone short narrative. “New Atlantis” . which pictured a perfect universe beneficiating from the thorough application of his vision. The New Atlantis is nil more than the history of a universe in which work forces possess a successful inductive method to analyze nature. Bensalem can be viewed as a society of felicity dominated by scientific discipline and monarchy and there is an apparent connexion between the province of scientific discipline today and the thought Bacon had in late Renaissance.

The narrative was published by Rawley after Bacon’s decease in 1627 and was supposed to include an history of the political and legal fundamental law of the Island of Bensalem. A important facet of the narrative is possibly the “House of Salomon” which controls the development of scientific discipline in an attempt to enlarge the human imperium. At first sight. “New Atlantis” is the mere remembrance of the events happening to Spaniards lost in the Atlantic Ocean while sailing in hunt for new lands. Lost at sea. they observe a bunch of clouds organizing along the skyline. which indicates the propinquity of land. Certain plenty. they are approached by a richly dressed adult male voyaging a sophisticated boat. which informs them that they have reached the Island of Bensalem.

After a few inquiries refering their personal businesss and Catholicism. they are informed that they are invited on the island of Bensalem. where all unwellnesss will be quickly treated. and any demands sufficed during a period of 16 yearss. The Spaniards are received in “Strangers house” . an improbably epicurean and comfy constitution where illness is cured in a manner unknown to most Europeans in the 17ht century. From so on. The Benselamite “way of life” is revealed to the reader through the storyteller. which acts as a item of the typical “European response” . His reaction towards Bensalem is the one any European would hold puting pes on the Island. The storyteller is an astonied newsman. telling all the events which bring to light specific features of the Utopian society. We discover their spiritual beliefs. Traditions. values and inescapably the boring undertakings and hierarchal organisation of the pillars of Bensalem ; the House of Salomon.

The secret plan itself is evidently non a item of Bacon’s narrative mastermind. The narrative is instead seen as “an effort by Bacon to popularise the New Science” ( Spedding 710 ) . The power of this short narrative is that it enables us to understand the long term consequence of implementing Bacon’s vision onto our society. The effects of the application of “The New Organon” . which was Bacon’s history of a practical and theoretical undertaking to reform the manner work forces surveies nature. are exhaustively discussed through the narrative of the New Atlantis. In fact. as stated by James Spedding. “The narrative of the New Atlantis is nil more than a vision of the practical consequences which he anticipated from the survey of natural history diligently and systematically” ( 711 ) . Bensalem is non the remembrance of an ideal universe released from the natural conditions to which ours is capable. but of our ain universe as it might be made if we did our responsibility by it. While Bacon’s work largely consisted of essays. the locale of the short narratives permits him non merely to utilize logic by explicating proficient footings. but instead his imaginativeness in specifying a universe in which his theory is applied to its fullest extent. The power of “New Atlantis” lies specifically here. It permits the mean European to visualize his ain universe as it might be if it were affected by Bacon’s reform.

Possibly the most of import portion of the narrative is the description of Salomon’s House. The province establishment is unusually good structured. and has permitted a proficient development on the Island that is still mostly unlikely for the European universe in the seventeenth century. Salomon’s house is “dedicated to the survey of the plants and animals of God” ( Bacon 253 ) . Its purpose is the expansion of the human imperium through the development of institutionalised Science. The freshness of an establishment imagined at that period in history does non put its instruments. as proficient development was get downing to bloom in the late Renaissance. but in the very construction of the rational labour conducted by the Brethren.

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The dwellers of Bensalem have a obscure thought of Salomon’s house’s operation. while the remainder of the universe is incognizant that it even exists. As the storyteller provinces. “This happy Island. where we now stood. was known to few. and yet knew of most states of the universe. which we found to be true. sing they had the linguistic communications of Europe and knew much of our province and our business” ( Bacon 251 ) . The journey of geting cognition from the outside universe lies on 12 chosen work forces from the House of Salomon. known as “merchants of Light” . They travel to foreign states utilizing bogus individualities to intensify their cognition of the natural universe and convey back the information in outmost secretiveness. Three “depredators” so roll up the experiments contained in books from the ocean trips. while three enigma work forces collect the experiments associating to “mechanical arts” . Miners or innovators have the undertaking to carry on new experiments. and compilers draw the experiments into studies incorporating tabular arraies. and to pull out maxims which are viewed by Bacon as the optimum manner to widen general apprehension of the natural universe.

The construction of the House of Salomon is a hierarchal 1. where extremely specialised “natural philosophers” have their country of “legislation” while working together towards a common end. Such hierarchy was absent in the universe of scientific discipline in the period of Renaissance. Harmonizing to Matt Noble in Renaissance Sparknotes Study Guide. good intimate scientists during Renaissance. such as Leonardo district attorney Vinci. Copernicus. Galileo. Brahe and Kepler. worked in the company of few persons and isolated themselves from the outside universe. Yet. the hierarchy Bacon envisioned within Salomon’s house encompasses working with other people. This is now a common denominator within all scientific establishments today.

The House of Salomon contains many specialised sections which forecast Bacon’s thought of eternal possibilities for the relationship between adult male and nature. The brethren of the scientific discipline establishment have made major finds in spheres such as chemical science. weather forecasting. medical specialty. biological science. ecology. genetic sciences. agribusiness. pharmacological medicine. natural philosophies. geology. optics and mechanical technology. When talking to the storyteller. the member of the house of Salomon provinces that his house can supply “imitation of natural mines” and bring forth “new unreal metals” and different solutions for “health and protraction of life” . It has “furnaces of great diversity” . “in imitation of the sun’s and heavenly bodies’ heats” and possesses “engines for multiplying and implementing air currents to put besides on divers’ motions” ( Bacon 258-261 ) . Those different countries of survey contribute in determining the reader’s thought on the freshness. importance and promotion of Salomon’s house. They besides provide counsel towards developing new countries of surveies for readers of the seventeenth century.

Other challenging elements of the House of Salomon are the more specific finds happening as a consequence of following the intrinsic airy basicss of Bacon’s philosophy. In the late Renaissance. the natural philosopher already predicts the locale of assorted wonders. We encounter anabolic steroids ; “we have drinks that used do [ . . ] their strength far greater that otherwise it would be” ( Bacon 260 ) . pigboats ; “we have ships and boats for traveling underwater” ( Bacon 261 ) . aeroplanes ; “we imitate the flight of birds” ( Bacon 261 ) . genetically modified beings ; “ [ by art we make ] fruits greater and sweeter. and of differing gustatory sensation. odor. colour and figure. from their nature” ( Bacon 262 ) . submerged bombs. or “Napalm” bombs. automatons and atomic energy.

Through the New Atlantis. we get to understand the deductions of Bacon’s vision for scientific discipline. The adult male believes in the practical consequences of successful inductive and experimental pattern. which are extensively represented in the Utopian Island of Bensalem. The deeper message Bacon seems to be directing through his Utopia. is possibly that scientific discipline transforms life on Earth into Eden. gives humankind perfect control over nature and enhances human conditions. Science becomes experimental and intervenes in the natural procedure of nature to bring out its deepest secrets. Peoples are affluent. healthy and seem happy. One province officer claims that he has “salary sufficient of the province for his service” ( Bacon 242 ) . The nutrient was “better than any collegial diet known in Europe” ( Bacon 244 ) . As for the Spaniards who were sickened by the long ocean trip at sea. “they mended so kindly and so fast” ( Bacon 246 ) .

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Science enables life to be so much more feasible as human conditions are annihilated from all agony. unlike those present in Europe at that period of clip in history. Peoples to the full exploit the fruits of nature alternatively of being oppressed by its fatal dangers. A control of nature implies extinguishing unwellnesss. natural catastrophes and any powerful beginning of devastation emanating from nature itself. As a affair of fact. decease is ne’er pictured in Bensalem. The Benselamite society seems to be immunized against all physical torment. aging procedure and unwellness. Science has uncovered the beginnings of those sufferances and permits an optimum corporal good being. For Bacon. felicity lies in the well being of the organic structure. The relationship between work forces and nature is one of laterality. merely to carry through the body’s needs. Nature is a threat that is to be dominated.

Bacon was non merely a philosopher. but besides a politician. This quality seems to be important in understanding the whole image of his ambitious undertaking to reform the manner work forces surveies nature. As stated by Julian Martin in “The State and the Reform of Natural philosophy” . “Bacon’s legal and political calling was important in the creative activity of his natural doctrine and his natural doctrine can non be separated from his philosophical ambitions” ( 2 ) . Bacon saw in scientific discipline and nature the great possible to heighten the powers of the monarchial province which dominated England during the Renaissance period. Science was a manner to convey about societal stableness. This is brightly portrayed in The New Atlantis. where corruptness is absent and work forces live in sober piousness. gracious courtesy. open handed cordial reception. fidelity and celibacy. demo graceful manners. order and decency.

Harmonizing to Bacon. a monarchy dominated by scientific discipline enables these types of behaviours to boom within the society. Science is an optimum tool for monarchy. as the people become wholly dependent on its terminal merchandises. Since people are nescient as to the stairss to achieve the terminal merchandises. they can non do their demands entirely. and rely on the monarchy. While Bacon was truly fascinated by nature. he was besides passionate about political relations. He besides developed his natural doctrine because he viewed it as a manner to authorise monarchy.

Specific elements of “The New Atlantis” do so clearly depict the terminals to which he devoted his scientific discipline. The people of Bensalem remain passively in a province of ignorance about natural cognition. Experiments and finds are wholly conducted and evaluated by a minority of work forces. which argument on their relevancy and general utility to the people. This decidedly leads us to say that. as a politician. Bacon believed cognition to be socially and politically unsafe. In the narrative we learn that the work forces from the Salomon seldom visit the metropolis and its people. and that the “brethren choose for them certain innovations or terminal merchandises of their rational cognition instead than to give out the fertile penetrations into the causes and secret gestures of things” ( Martin 3 ) . In a manner. Bacon is stating that the province can pull strings the population for its ain well being and stamp down its sense of subjugation in a universe that is stiffly controlled. Harmonizing to the new Atlantis. non merely do work forces necessitate to reform the manner they look at nature. but the province must command who gets the opportunity to analyze nature in a different manner. Merely few work forces must run the scientific reform – in this instance the brethren of Salomon’s House- in order to enable Bacon’s scientific discipline to successfully function monarchy. .

In today’s society. we can easy see the traces of Bacon’s work. Harmonizing to Denise Albanese. Bacon’s doctrine is “a specifying move in the outgrowth of modern scientific pattern within the late Renaissance period” ( 8 ) . Critics besides agree in stating that the institutionalization of the scientific disciplines and their practicians in the 17th and eighteenth century owes much to Bacon. In New Atlantis. Bacon stressed the demand for bodily good being. and all the machinery nowadays in the House of Salomon acts as a nominal his prefiguration of an industrialised society. Materialism. which is an of import construct in Bensalem. and industrialisation. are ubiquitous worlds in our current society. Our universe today is fundamentally governed by scientific discipline and engineering. and work forces are driven by mercenary ownerships. This has had some good. as predicted by Bacon. as agony and unwellness has decreased in comparing to late Renaissance. but it besides separated work forces from nature.

Since nature is viewed as a menace to humankind. domination becomes the lone possible relationship between work forces and nature. While this compulsion with domination propelled the Benselamite society into proficient progress and bodily good being. much as it does in our society. it besides cuts work forces from an built-in portion of life ; that of life in the darling company of nature. For illustration. the work forces of the house of Salomon are so concerned with tormenting nature to pull out its secret. that they can no longer populate within its confines and appreciate its beauty. Similarly. our present society contemplates cellular phones and computing machines more than it appreciates a walk in nature’s land. Nature is an enslaved supplier of resources.

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This world is good explained in Rachel Carson’s essay entitled “A Fable for Tomorrow” . Carson exhaustively describes the finds of engineering and scientific discipline. such as atomic merger and radiation. man-made chemical compounds. and insect powders to turn out that adult male is utilizing the hoarded wealths of nature to better destruct it. Carson states that “the celerity of alteration and the velocity with which new state of affairss are created follow the hotheaded and unheeding gait of adult male instead than the calculated gait of nature” . In other words. men’s infinite intercessions on the flow of nature’s mechanisms do non take history of any possible effects. which could be fatal because the gait of adult male is excessively fast for nature’s natural response. Carson foreshadows pandemics. the discontinuance of life and reproduction. and possibly a complete retreat of nature. While a philosopher of the sixteenth century predicts great things out of scientific discipline. and a adult female of our modern-day society predicts great dangers for the hereafter as a effect of scientific discipline today.

While the reform pictured by Bacon in his utopia portions glowering similarities with the universe today. it is besides really different in many ways. New Atlantis is a topographic point where scientific discipline tames nature. but is tamed itself. The few selected work forces of Salomon’s house stiffly command its applications. The world we face mundane seems wholly different. As scientific discipline has begun to command the force of nature. it has itself become a wild and untamable force. Science has become a great beginning of danger. possibly a more powerful beginning than nature allow entirely because of the manner it is applied onto our society. The Benselamite society doesn’t brush these troubles. possibly because so few work forces are in control of scientific discipline and its results.

In our universe today. everyone has entree to information. finds and merchandises. We can larn how to do bombs off the cyberspace. Unlike in “The New Atlantis” . determinations on the relevancy of certain finds lies on each of us as censoring on scientific discipline is are hardly existing. Business are stating ; “hey here’s some chemical for your lawn. which contaminates your dirt. perilously enhances your hazards of developing Alzheimer’s disease and malignant neoplastic disease. contributes to acidic rains. but it eliminates blowballs. You can purchase it if you want. it’s your choice” . Solomon’s house likely would ne’er even have divulged the being of such a chemical to its people. This is possibly the chief difference between the universe envisioned by Bacon and the worlds we face today. The undertaking of the brethren of Salomon’s house lies on everyone.

Bacon’s New Atlantis is a great narrative that decidedly portrays the wants of a airy adult male. filled with optimism and dreams of a better life for future coevalss. It has been a specifying piece of literature in the outgrowth of modern scientific discipline. It raises many issues. inquiries the European society of the seventeenth century and simply convinces its leaders to ship into the long journey of practical scientific discipline. Bensalem is pictured as pious land dominated by bodily felicity through the mechanism of the House of Salomon. Bacon was a mind in the name of monarchy and in the name of scientific discipline. Harmonizing to Barry Gower. “Bacon’s scientific discipline reflected a tradition of natural thaumaturgy. chemistry and practical medical specialty which was discarded by many of his successors” ( 55 ) . While Bacon was missing some constructs. and some of his thoughts were abandoned. he still inspired the ageless gesture of scientific discipline and engineering. He has extended the boundaries of world. and permitted other people to see farther than he could of all time had dreamed.

Plants Cited

ALBANESE. Denise ; New Science New World. Durham N. C. ; Duke University Press. 1996.

BACON. Francis. “The New Atlantis” . Selected Philosophical Works ; Indianapolis/ Cambridge ; Hackett. 1999. p. 241-268

CARSON. Rachel. “A Fable For Tomorrow” . Silent Spring. Houghton Miffin. 1962

EDWARDS. Michael. SparkNote on The New Organon. SparkNote. 26 Apr. 2005.

GOWER. Barry. Scientific Method: a Historical and Philosophical Introduction. London. New-York ; Routledge and Sons. 1997.

MARTIN. Julian. Francis Bacon ; The State and the Reform of Natural Philosophy. Cambridge [ England ] ; Cambridge University Press. 1992.

NOBLE. Matt. SparkNote on Italian Renaissance. 29 Apr. 2005.

SPEDDING. James. The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon. London. New-York ; Routledge and Sons. 1905.