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"New Atlantis" of F. Bacon in the English socio-political and philosophical and theological thought of an era of restoration (1660-1689)


I.M. Erlikhson


In article the problem of a role and value of "New Atlantis" of F. Bacon in the English social thought of the period of Restoration is investigated (1660 — 1689). Analyzing two works which are continuations of a utopia of Bacon — anonymous "New Atlantis begun by lord Verulam and continued by R.H." (1660) and "Anti-fanatical religion" of J. Glenvil (1676), the author reveals features of interpretation of the ideas of Bacon in a socio-political and philosophical and theological thought of the second half of the 17th century

I. Erlikhson


The aim of the article is to determine the role of F. Bacon&s & #34; New Atlantis" in the British social thought of the Restoration epoch. Analyzing the two continuations ofBacon&s utopia — anonymous & #34; New Atlantis Begun by lord Verulam... and continued by R. H." (1660) and & #34; Anti-fanatical religion and free philosophy in a continuation of New Atlantis" by J. Glanvill (1676), author investigates the peculiarities of the & #34; New Atlantis" interpretation in socio-political, philosophical and theological thought of the 17th century.

The beginning to historical thinking and utopianism of Modern Times was put by the culture of the Renaissance which generated the active relation of the person to the future and moved apart a framework of medieval providentsialistsky ideas of the internal mechanism and an ultimate goal of historical process. The great geographical discoveries which moved apart borders of the closed world of the Middle Ages which gave way to the boundless, constantly extending space became the important factor promoting origin of the European utopia. In the essay "About a Travel" Francis Bacon noted that "the travel is a part of education and a component of experience" 1 and listed what the real traveler who appeared in others country has to pay attention to. Entered the long list: features of political and economic way, church, monuments, libraries and gardens, markets and sea

ports, customs and traditions. Its own utopia "New Atlantis", though was constructed in a form of the traveling diary, traditional for utopian works, was not the story about the unknown ideal country, and evident demonstration of greatness and the benefit of scientific and technical progress. But, in spite of the fact that "New Atlantis" was not a social, but stsiyentistsky utopia, one of Bacon's merits consisted that in hundred years after emergence of "The gold book" Tomasa Mora he revived this literary genre for which real blossoming occurred in 1640-1650

The historiographic tradition characterizes the period of Restoration (1660-1689) as a crisis era for works of a utopian genre. Utopias of this period and on the width of objectives, and on depth and novelty of the ideas stated in them conceded to works T. Mora, F. Bacon, J. Uinstenley, J. Garrington, S. Gartliba,

but at the same time surprisingly precisely reflected changes in public life and the atmosphere of a new political regime. Among a set of utopias of the period of Restoration turn on themselves two, being subject continuation of "New Atlantis". Why Bacon's utopia later summoned several decades again interest and what purposes were put before themselves by their authors? The answer to this question can be given, having analyzed both of these works in close connection with the processes happening in political, economic, ideological and cultural spheres of life of the English society of the second half of the 17th century and also having established their ideological connection with political and philosophical and theological concepts of the specified period.

In 1660 on a wave of the faithful feelings caused by return to London and Charles II's crowning there was a utopia "New Atlantis begun by the lord Verula-m, the viscount Saint-Olbens... and the continued R.H., eskvayry in which the program of monarchic board is stated". Authorship was attributed to Richard Haines (1633 — 1685), the gentleman from Sussex, to the convinced royalist and the member of the party of the Tory from whose pen with enviable regularity different projects of elimination of pauperism and bezrabotitsy2 issued. Among possible authors also called Robert Hooke (1635 — 1703), the curator of experiments of the London royal society, the inventor and the scientist whose interests, without being limited to one sphere, extended to geometry, astronomy, chemistry, optics, philosophy, botany and filosofiyu3. But the most powerful arguments are given to advantage of authorship of Richard Haukins, whose treatise "Reasoning on National Superiority of England" (1658) stylistic features, references to F. Bacon and the separate passages eulogizing absolute monarchy directed at associations with anonymous continuation of "New Atlantis" 4.

The work belonging, according to A. Morton, to the public figure and the writer "to more considerable than the author disappearing under R.H. pseudonym" 5 — to Joseph Glen-vilyu was the second continuation of "New Atlantis". Glenvil was the representative of one of the most influential philosophical schools XVII of century — schools of the Cambridge neoplatonik which adherents were such famous thinkers as Benjamin Uichkot, Henry of Mora, Ralf Kedwort and John Smith. Some researchers believe that "... any other doctrine was not such mighty in the 17th century as philosophy of a platonizm and Neoplatonism" 6.

R.H. utopia opened the letter to its Majesty in which the author submissively offered modest "reflection about powerful though existing only in his imagination, the state". The author providently stipulated that "if he did not manage to display adequately magnificent advantages of the most perfect of the existing monarchs, then it occurred because his skill and force of imagination was enough only for a rough sketch while the hand of more thoughtful person will draw further a portrait with live and bright paints" 7. Though the English historian A. Morton noted that "dedication to the book sounds ironically" 8, the further text disproves this statement and convinces of absolute gravity of the author and his sincere devotion to patriarchal and monarchic ideals. Complaining that residents of England, "watching actions of the king a jaundiced and distrustful look", displaced the monarchy from a pedestal, having added to it elements of the aristocracy and democracy, R.H. surely said that historically developed obligation of the House of Commons is to express humility to will of lords and to agree silently with the made decisions. The king who focuses everything in the hands

and ephemeral attempt, characteristic of such works of the restoration period, to give alternative historical option of existence of the monarchic state. At the same time, perhaps, for the first time in the history of a utopian thought of the 17th century, in the work of Glenvil the existence of stable state system is implemented not by political and legal and social reforms, and by means of reorganization of the religious sphere of life of society. Moreover, "The anti-fanatical religion" at all variety of the problems considered in it does not give that many-sided description of society which is characteristic of a classical social English utopia. It is remarkable also that the analyzed work of Glenvil represented not the separate independent work, but the final chapter 7 of the collection "Reasonings on Some Important Objects in the field of Philosophy and Religion" published in 1676. In the dedication preceding the book to the marquis Vorchester, Glenvil noted: "I am happy to offer your Excellency a collection of the essay concerning extremely important subjects which purpose consists in streamlining of theological and philosophical concepts... And though some of them were written (essay) by me a few years ago, now they are added and located as it should be, the most corresponding to the nature of my judgments for today" 38. Therefore, continuation of "New Atlantis" was than other as a component of the obobshchayushche-final work in which Glenvil summarized the views of questions of philosophy, gnoseology and theology. In this foreshortening "Anti-fanatical religion." could be considered as the philosophical treatise added with utopian ideas of the author of a possibility of the state and religious device on teologo-philosophical basis of the Cambridge Neoplatonism.

The important and demanding special consideration question is clarification of the motives which induced both authors to present the works as continuation of "New Atlantis" of Bacon. One of such reasons for which Glenvil and the anonymous author who was behind R.H. initials addressed Bacon's utopia was the fact that "New Atlantis" was the work with the open final attracting potential authors finishing that Bacon was not in time. Not the last role was played also by that circumstance that "New Atlantis" was quite conservative also in social aspect, and in traditions which it adjoined. Bensal is "immortalized in a happy state" the monarchic state isolated from the rest of the world for "fear of innovations and influence of alien customs" 39. It gave the grounds to researchers of creativity of Bacon to characterize "New Atlantis" as "a peculiar idealization of the English absolute monarchy. the truth, with essential adjustment for domination of the scientific aristocracy in the spirit of the platonovsky state" 40. Both Glenvil, and his anonymous "colleague" on political convictions were supporters of absolute monarchy with its traditional attributes (though at Glen-vilya it is traced not so accurately) and therefore could not take as a basis the "Gold book" denying a private property T. Mora, either republican Oceania of J. Garrington, or the radical "Law of freedom" J. Uin-stenley.

"New Atlantis" was ideal "base" for R.H. who on its basis developed the alternative absolutist option of development of England based on the patriarchal theory of Robert Filmer. And, if for Bacon the state socio-political relations were only a background, then R.H. purpose was to create utopian model


27 Glanvill J. Anti-fanatical religion and free philosophy in a continuation of New Atlantis//Glanvill J. Op. cit. - P. 17.
28 Glanvill J. The agreement of reason and religion//Glanvill J. Op.cit. — P. 6.
29 Ibid. — P. 6.
30 Ibid. — P. 15.
31 Ibid. — P. 32.
32 Ibid.
33 Ibid. — P. 37.
34 T. Hobbes. Leviathan//Hobbes T. Soch.: In 2 t. — M, 1989. — T. 2. — Page 277 — 278.
35 Glanvill J. Anti-fanatical religion and free philosophy in a continuation of New Atlantis//Glanvill J. Op. cit. — P. 21.
36 Ibid. — P. 19.
37 Ibid. — P. 17.
38 Glanvill J. The Epistle dedicatory//Glanvill J. Essays on several important subjects in Philosophy and religion. — L., 1676.
39 F. Bacon. New Atlantis//Utopian novel of the XVI—XVII centuries. — M, 1971. — C. 206.
40 Subbotin of L.A. Frances Bacon. — M, 1974. — Page 147.
41 F. Bacon. Compositions in two volumes. — M, 1971 — 1972. — T. 1. — Page 238.
42 Glanvill J. The agreement of reason and religion//Glanvill J. Op. cit. — P. 2.
43 A.L. Morton. Decree. soch. — Page 100 — 101.
Herman Cook
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