Bacon: The New Atlantis

Bacon describes in the New Atlantis a happy society, based on reason and science. Knowledge is aimed at social utility and in a systematic way, based on collaboration between people who have different tasks. These two characteristics, science aimed at technological applications and team work, are the main aspects of his theory and supported by the definition of a research method that is the subject of his main work, the Novum organon.

In the story, Bacon tells of a journey from Peru to Japan, during which the ship gets lost in the ocean until, after months of navigation, it lands on an island not marked on the maps.

The island of Bensalem, or the New Atlantis, is inhabited by a highly developed people for scientific knowledge and technology.

Housed in the Casa dei Strestieri, the protagonist and the rest of the crew are instructed on the history of Bensalem. In ancient times America, then called Great Atlantis, was a very developed and rich continent, with which Bensalem had intense commercial relations. The king of Peru, then called Coya, decided one day to conquer the island of Bensalem. He was defeated and shortly after a great cataclysm, a flood of biblical proportions, shocked the entire American continent, killing a large part of the population while the rest, having taken refuge in the mountains, regressed to a primitive stage. Since then Bensalem avoided contact with the rest of the world, while entrusting some of his citizens with the task of periodically visiting the various nations incognito to follow their scientific discoveries and bring them back to their homeland.

The New Atlantis, closed in its isolation, was socially reorganized by a king, Solamon, who put it in a position to be self-sufficient through the organization of scientific research and the development of technology to provide for all need. To this end he founded the House of Solomon, named after the wise Jewish king, which has remained since then as the heart of research and social organization.

The description of the House of Solomon occupies the largest part of the work. Bacon describes the many research laboratories and the futuristic discoveries of the island’s scientists, aimed at the material progress of citizens and the control of nature to improve the quality of life.

After a few days of stay on the island, the protagonist is allowed to visit the House of Solomon, under the guidance of one of the Fathers in charge of it.

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