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Francis Bacon: The New Organon (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) [Hardcover]

Francis Bacon , Lisa Jardine , Michael Silverthorne
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 28, 2000 0521563992 978-0521563994
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.

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Editorial Reviews


"The importance of this work is evident...the Cambridge edition does a respectable job at striving for both accuracy and readability. I would recommend this edition of Bacon's New Organon for use in survey and/or mid-level courses dealing with the development of seventeenth-century philosophy and science." Teaching Philosophy

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin

Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521563992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521563994
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,739,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best publication of Bacon's New Organon May 14, 2007
I had to write a research paper on Francis Bacon's The New Organon for my History of Ideas VI class and this book was the definitive source for that paper. The introduction by Lisa Jardine is stellar. There is so much invaluable content and critical commentary in her introduction it was overwhelming. This edition by Cambridge University Press is sufficient for anyone who wants to become decently familiar with Bacon's The New Organon and his contribution to empiricism and the scientific revolution. It is an especially valuable source for anyone who has to do a substantial research paper for a philosophy course. I would not want to do without Jardine's introduction and the notes if I were writing a paper on The New Organon. I also would like to mention that though this book is not exhaustive in its scope it is very thorough in regards to The New Organon. If one is looking for more historical content on Francis Bacon the man, they should look elsewhere. This work only provides a very short chronology of the highlights in Bacon's life, but nothing beyond this. However, when I was working on my research paper, I favored this book amongst the fifteen to twenty others I was using for the sake of researching The New Organon. Just keep that in mind coming from a UK bound student who reads and writes papers 24/7 as if it were his job, literally. I assure you, you will no be disappointed with this work on your bookshelf. It will prove an invaluable source for future academic study and research for any serious scholar. For the rest who are not so serious academically, or who simply are not students and want a one-night stand with Bacon's The New Organon, this will suffice beyond measure.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Translation, New Readers August 2, 2000
By djc
This is a very clear and readily assimilated translation of what may be considered the manifesto of the scientific revolution. Translating a seventeenth century Englishman, writing in latin, back into english: should it be the english he would have written at that time, or is a more ahistorical rendering ppropriate? Sometimes I wondered if the translation might be a little too up-to-date in its sensibilities and I found myself returning to the latin original to be reassured that Bacon's original intent had been rendered. Although the text is admirably clear a few more footnotes would have been welcome. Those provided are either somewhat cryptic and brief notes of textual readings, or on the other hand, notes on personages that seem to pander too much to the ignorance of today's students - vero media est. Though the second part of Novum Organon seem but little removed from the alchemists den, Bacon's first part is as relevant to the scientific enterprise today as it ever was - modern physicists and geneticists should consider carefully whether, as aphorism LXIV warns, empiricism may be a greater danger than sophistic dogma ever was.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Science Fans Should Read! July 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is one of the best pro-science books out there. Not only did this man help get the modern scientific method going but the work's arguments are still valid today - even in philosophy.

This presentation of a more empiricist approach I found far more insightful and sharper than anything the David Hume wrote. The beginning of the work does a nice job of critiquing scholastic philosophy (and the arguments he gives sadly apply to quite a bit of philosophy today) and setting up why we need a "rigorous induction."

The work is also an easy read unlike much of philosophy after Bacon (1620). I simply cannot stress enough why this book should be required for all science majors - sure it's critique of logic is dated (although in context it is very valid - he attacks the reliance of the Aristotelian syllogism in place of proper induction) and many have written much on the scientific method and philosophy of science after Bacon - but this work is the proper start to all of that.

Small note - anyone that takes Hume's critique of induction seriously should read this book. Bacon's plan for a scientific induction from 1620 outpaces Hume's critique of common induction.
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6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You're paying for the footnotes on this one November 7, 2008
By Alaric
--and possibly a slightly more colloquial translation & scholarly academic introduction :D. The Library of Liberal

Arts edition is available for a lower price, minus footnotes & intro.
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