The Instauratio Magna: Last Writings

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This volume belongs to the first new critical edition of the works of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) to have been produced since the nineteenth century. The edition presents the works in broadly chronological order and according to the best principles of modern textual scholarship. The seven works in the present volume belong to the final completed stages (Parts III-V) of Bacon's hugely ambitious six-part sequence of philosophical works, collectively entitled Instauratio magna (1620-6). All are presented in the original Latin with new facing-page translations. Three of the seven texts (substantial works in two cases, and all sharing a startlingly improbable textual history) are published and translated here for the first time: these are an early version of the Historia densi, the 'lost' Abecedarium, and the Historia de animato & inanimato. Another—the Prodromi sive anticipationes philosphiae secundae—has likewise never been translated before. Together with their commentaries and the introduction they open the way to important new understandings of Bacon's mature philosophical thought.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198184706
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Series: Oxford Francis Bacon Series
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London
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Table of Contents

List of Plates
List of Tables
References, Abbreviations, Sigla, and Symbols
1 The Texts: Chronology and the Instauratio magna
a The Texts and the Instauratio magna
b Works and Dates
c Summary: Dating and the Instauratio magna
2 The Historia densi and the Abecedarium: Contexts and Composition
a Two Versions of the Historia densi & rari
b The Abecedarium: Its Content and the Structure of Baconian Science
3 The Texts and their Transmission
a The Bacon Manuscripts of Monsieur de la Hoguette
b The Bacon Manuscripts of Messieurs Dupuy
c The Manuscript Copy-Texts: Final Considerations
d The Printed Copy-Texts and William Rawley
e The Opuscula and the Press
This Edition: Principles, Conventions, and a Note on the Translations
The Texts and Translations
Historia densi & rari (BN coll. Dupuy version) 1
Historia densi & rari (Rawley's version) 35
Abecedarium nouum naturae 171
Historia & inquisitio de animato & inanimato 227
Inquisitio de magnete 237
Topica inquisitionis de luce et lumine 243
Prodromi sive anticipationes philosophiae secundae 259
The Commentaries
Commentary on Historia densi & rari 269
Commentary on Abecedarium nouum natura 305
Commentary on Historia & inquisitio de animato & inanimato 327
Commentary on Inquisitio de magnete 330
Commentary on Topica inquisitionis de luce et lumine 332
Commentary on Prodromi sive anticipationes philosophiae secundae 337
App. I The Opuscula varia posthuma and Scripta: Bibliographical Description and Technical Notes 338
a The Opuscala: Bibliographical Description and Technical Notes 338
b The Scripta: Bibliographical Description - Some Corrections 343
App. II Signature and Folio References in this Edition with corresponding Page Numbers in SEH 344
Select Bibliography 348
General Index 357
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