Francis Bacon's New Atlantis in the Foundation of Modern Political Thought

Francis Bacon's New Atlantis in the Foundation of Modern Political Thought

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The relationship between technology, philosophy, and politics is both contentious and vital to our understanding of human nature and the ways human beings interact with one another in society; Francis Bacon outlined the wild potential and great danger of this relationship. Francis Bacon's New Atlantis in the Foundation of Modern Political Thought explores Bacon's role as a founder of modern political science and the place of his New Atlantis in the founding of modern political thought.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 162 pages
  • 144.78 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 408.23g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739181505
  • 9780739181508

Review quote

Francis Bacon's New Atlantis in the Foundation of Modern Political Thought is an innovative, creative, and controversial analysis of the text. It challenges many of the dominant, long-standing interpretations of the text and, as a result, provides substantial grounds for further study and analysis. Review of Politics Sir Francis Bacon's New Atlantis is a puzzling, enigmatic work. Many scholars suppose it an enticement-a utopian vision of the paradise that modern science will usher in. Kimberly Hurd Hale begs to differ. She sees in it a word of warning to readers of discernment, and, in this closely argued book, she makes a powerful case that, in The New Atlantis, Bacon intimates that, if the proper steps are not taken, modern science may become the means by which a new species of tyranny is established. -- Paul Rahe, Hillsdale College This provocative book contends that Bacon, founder of scientific utopianism, was also a doubter. He doubted the dogmatic extension of scientific method, cautioned against the dictatorial politics that his New Atlantis exhibits, and commended as correctives tradition, ancient political wisdom, and moderate liberalism. A stimulating interpretation of Bacon's crucial political-scientific work, which also confronts the burgeoning literature on Bacon and compares his politics with that of Hobbes and Condorcet. -- Robert Faulkner, Boston College Hurd Hale's is an important new book, providing both a rich intellectual history and an important corrective to the tradition of philosophical scholarship that assumes too great a distance between Bacon's scientific and political thought. Indeed, her contention-that Bacon's optimism regarding the modern fusion of science and liberal politics was tempered by a deep-seated skepticism regarding the sustainability of such a fusion-is likely to provoke the imagination of scholars for quite some time. A timely meditation on a timely subject. -- Jeremy J. Mhire, Louisiana Tech University Stepping back from conventional assumptions about Bacon's stature as a scientist, Kimberly Hurd Hale returns to his enigmatic, suggestively incomplete vision of a polity governed by the new sciences. With patience and interpretive persistence, she discovers in Bacon's hopeful, strangely practical utopian project a deeper, nuanced meditation upon the limitations of scientific political organization, as well as Bacon's debt to the ancients' understanding of the city's sustaining and mortal imperfections. -- John C. Briggs, University of California, Riversideshow more

About Kimberly Hurd Hale

Kimberly Hurd Hale is visiting assistant professor of politics at Washington and Lee University.show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Chapters 1.Introduction 2.Plato's Atlantis 3.Bacon's Project: The New Atlantis in Context 4.The Mind and Body: Critiquing the Society of Bensalem 5.The Rule of Scientists 6.Science, Technology, and the Founding of Modern Political Philosophy 7.Conclusion: The Limits of Enlightenment Bibliography About the Authorshow more

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