The New Atlantis and The City of the Sun: Two Classic Utopias

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Courier Corporation, Jul 2, 2003 - Political Science - 85 pages
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Two authors from The Age of Reason and Enlightenment, in keeping with the spirit of their times, envisioned their own philosophical and intellectual utopias. Tomasso Campanella, a Calabrian monk, published The City of the Sun in 1623, and Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis appeared in 1627. Campanella was a student of logic and physics who formulated the first scientifically based socialistic system — one that furnished a model for subsequent ideal communities. Bacon focused on politics and philosophy, emphasizing the duty of the state toward science. Despite the authors' differences in setting and treatment, each of these 17th-century classics mirrors the period's prevailing thought, reflecting the idealism of an age and its revolutionary trends in philosophy.

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About the author (2003)

Francis Bacon was born on January 22, 1561 in London. After studying at Cambridge, Bacon began a legal career, ultimately becoming a barrister in 1582. Bacon continued his political ascent, and became a Member of Parliament in 1584. In 1600, he served as Queen Elizabeth's Learned Counsel in the trial of Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex. After numerous appointments under James I, Bacon admitted to bribery and fell from power. Much of Bacon's fame stems from the belief by some that he was the actual author of the plays of William Shakespeare. While many critics dismissed that belief, Bacon did write several important works, including a digest of laws, a history of Great Britain, and biographies of the Tudor monarchy, including Henry VII. Bacon was also interested in science and the natural world. His scientific theories are recorded in Novum Organum, published in 1620. Bacon's interest in science ultimately led to his death. After stuffing a fowl with snow to study the effect of cold on the decay of meat, he fell ill, and died of bronchitis on April 9, 1626.

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