The Missing Link Between Bacon and the Royal Society

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Historians who write on Bacon’s Utopian college view it as an inspiration for the early Royal Society. They offer two versions of this inspiration as to the precise role of the Society: as an educational institute for training or as a research institute. Historians who advocate the version of the society as an educational institute view as the core of the Society the group of educational reformists that included Samuel Hartlib (the much-loved person who tried to prevent the civil war), Jan Amos Comenius, Sir William Petty, and later also Robert Boyle and John Beale. Historians who advocate the version of the Society as a research institute view the core of the Society the science study group that Boyle labeled “invisible college … or as they term themselves, the philosophical college”; it included John Wallis and John Wilkins, and later also Boyle, John Evelyn and Beale. Possibly the early Royal Society endorsed both ideas as it emerged as a union of these two groups. This depends on the ideas that these groups brought with them to the Society. The idea of the educational reformers was Bacon’s radical hostility to all established education. To repeat, the Society advocated radicalism but had to behave moderately.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages157-166
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Volume298
ISSN (Print)0068-0346
ISSN (Electronic)2214-7942

Keywords

  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Great Impression
  • Invisible College
  • Royal Society
  • Scientific Club

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