Cover: Francis Bacon and the Rhetoric of Nature, from Harvard University PressCover: Francis Bacon and the Rhetoric of Nature in E-DITION

Francis Bacon and the Rhetoric of Nature

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674731400

Publication Date: 11/16/1989

285 pages

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Francis Bacon is a pivotal figure in the beginnings of modernity. In his new book, John Briggs clarifies the close relation between Bacon’s famous and forward-looking reform of scientific method and his less well-known conceptions of rhetoric, nature, and religion. Briggs demonstrates a mastery of the traditional views of nature and persuasion that were influential in the intellectual and practical life of early seventeenth-century England, and shows how Bacon replaces the “old nature”—especially of gradual, consenting unfolding of organic potential—with a “new nature” of violence, secrecy, and instantaneous revelation rewarding the self-abnegating, assiduous sons of science.

Briggs explores Bacon’s paradoxes and puzzles in the context of the older Aristotelian and cosmological perspective, paying particular attention to the views of persuasion (which, to Bacon, implied everything from gentle Orphic suasion to coercion and duplicity). He points out a remarkable and complex consistency in Bacon’s use of Solomon, Moses, Paul, and the Greeks, and reveals for the first time the depth of Bacon’s conviction that nature is God’s code, which scientists decipher and exploit. He uncovers, throughout Bacon’s works, a darker, more Machiavellian and ingenious Bacon than the twentieth-century admirers of his “rationalist” facade have identified.

This penetrating book will be of interest to literary and cultural historians, historians of science and rhetoric, and students of the history of ideas, as well as to specialists in Bacon and the English Renaissance.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos, by Tom Siegfried, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Tom Siegfried, author of The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos

In The Number of the Heavens, Tom Siegfried, the award-winning former editor of Science News, shows that one of the most fascinating and controversial ideas in contemporary cosmology—the existence of multiple parallel universes—has a long and divisive history that continues to this day. We spoke to him about the possible existence of a multiverse and the co

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.