INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN HUMANIDADES Y CIENCIAS SOCIALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
UTOPIAN SCIENCE AND EMPIRE. NOTES ON THE IBERIAN BACKGROUND OF FRANCIS BACONS PROJECT
Studii de Stiinta si Cultura
Universitatea de Vest Vasile Goldiş din Arad
Lugar: Bucarest; Año: 2010 vol. VI p. 111 - 111
This paper will explore Bacons perceptions of the scientific connotations of the Spanish empireand his reception of early modern Iberian science. Its aim is to analyze the extent to which theIberian background played a role in the making of Bacons project of a utopian imperial science,by drawing attention to some particular cases: the reception of the Jesuits, the natural histories, thechronicles of discovery, and the evaluation of Columbus voyages. It is shown that Baconsrelationship with Iberian themes and sources was explicit in a few cases (Acosta, Columbus, IncaGarcilaso, the Jesuit order), while at other times the relationship is more indirect and implicit(Fernández de Oviedo, López de Gomara, Martire, Ramusio, Benzoni, Fernández de Quirós). It isargued that early modern imperial Spain seems to have been assessed by Bacon as a model of agrowing empire, an empire whose greatness relied heavily on the Jesuit order and the colonizationof America. The paper concludes that the attentive observation of the Spanish empire as well as theacquaintance with the Jesuits and the Iberian chronicles must have inspired Bacons project ofscience and his ideas on the articulation of science with empire. At the same time, other past andcontemporary authors and traditions found their place in Bacons program for the reform oflearning. This eclectic blend underlying this project rather than depriving the end result of novelty,allows us to realize the new decisive contents Bacon added to the diverse ideas and practices herelied on.