Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New acquisition: Bacon's Novum Organum Scientiarum

This is another exciting addition to our wonderful Francis Bacon collection, which is currently on exhibit.  The Novum Organum was the centerpiece of Bacon's planned masterwork on science and philosophy, which he called the Instauratio Magna.  In the Novum Organum, Bacon detailed his view that inductive reasoning is the best method for scientific inquiry.  Professor Coquillette's gift included a first edition of this work; this new acquisition is the second edition, which was published in Latin (the first is in English) in Leiden in 1645.

The title page features a ship boldly pushing past the Pillars of Hercules, a mythical symbol of the outermost bounds of knowledge.  The Latin phrase beneath the picture translates (courtesy of Google Translate!) as "Go through and increase knowledge." 

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