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The New Atlantis


The New Atlantis


The New Atlantis is an unfinished utopian novel by Sir Francis Bacon, first published in 1624. Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideals for humankind by portraying a vision of the future of human discovery and great knowledge.

The novel depicts the discovery of a mythical island, Bensalem, discovered by the crew of a European ship after they are lost in the Pacific Ocean somewhere west of Peru.

Bacon focuses on the duty of the state toward science, and his projections for state-sponsored research anticipate many advances in medicine and surgery, meteorology, and machinery.

The inhabitants of Bensalem represent the ideal qualities of Bacon the statesman: generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit. These were the ideal qualities Bacon wished to see in 17th century England.

Bacon breaks from Plato, Aristotle and other ancient writers by asserting that there is no reason to waste time and energy trying to get human beings to rise to a higher moral condition. Instead, the extraordinary advances of science would make it possible to appease our  desires by providing those things that would satisfy our human greed.


SIR FRANCIS BACON (1561–1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist and author. He was extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific revolution. His works established an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply, the scientific method, a  theoretical framework that still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

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