The New Organon

The New Organon

The New Organon

The New Organon


Francis Bacon's New Organon, published in 1620, was revolutionary in its attempt to give formal philosophical shape to a new and rapidly emerging experimental science. It challenged the entire edifice of the philosophy and learning of Bacon's time, and left its mark on all subsequent discussions of scientific method. This volume presents a new translation of the text into modern English by Michael Silverthorne, together with an introduction by Lisa Jardine that sets the work in the context of Bacon's scientific and philosophical activities.


My thinking about Francis Bacon's philosophical works has been enormously influenced, and altered in significant ways, by the work I have done over the past five years, leading up to the co-authored biography of Bacon, Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon (1998). That biography was in every sense a collaboration; both the research and the actual writing were conducted as a vigorous partnership between myself and Dr Alan Stewart of Birkbeck College. Accordingly, I acknowledge with deep gratitude here the important part Alan Stewart's research, wisdom and friendship have played in the production of this piece of work.

Lisa Jardine

I would like to thank David Rees, Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, for his assistance; Julian Martin of the Department of History at the University of Alberta for his help and encouragement in the earlier stages; and Desmond Clarke for his detailed criticism and unfailing courtesy. I owe personal debts of gratitude to Leszek Wysocki at McGill University for the benefit of his expert Latinity, to Katherine Silverthorne for secretarial assistance, and to my wife, Ann, for constant support.

Michael Silverthorne . . .

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