A NEW FOUNDATION FOR SCIENCE

BACON, FRANCIS.

Opera. Tomus primus: Qui continet De Dignitate & Augmentis Scientiarum. Libros IX [i.e.: De Augmentis Scientiarum]. (All).

London, Joannis Haviland, 1623 [later altered in manuscript to 1624].

Small folio. Bound in a lovely early 19th century full vellum binding with gilt borders to boards and gilt ornamentations and gilt title-label to spine.Lower front hinge cracked, but bidning still tight. A bit of edge wear, but overall very nice. Woodcut title-vignettes (burning heart) and woodcut initials in beginning. Text within single woodcut borders. (18), 493, (1 - errata) pp. Complete with both title-pages (no final blank). Old owner's name to title page (along with the dates 1624 and 1648), unlegible scribbles to second title-page, and "collated e perfect" in old hand to last leaf. A very nice and clean copy with good margins.


The extremely rare first edition of what is arguably Bacon's main work "De Augmentis Scientiarum", in which he sets out to lay the foundations of science entirely anew and reform the process of knowledge for the advancement of learning. Bacon believes that the advancement of learning will ultimately relieve mankind from its miseries and needs, and as such he not only reformed the foundations of science, he also laid the philosophical foundations for the dawning of the Industrial age. His proposed change of the collective thought of mankind completely reshaped the entire course of science in history. The aim of the present work - to investigate and re-classify philosophy and the sciences - marks a turning point in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, which is still essential for our conceptions of proper methodology today.

The "De Augmentis Scientarum" constitutes a greatly expanded and completely re-written version of the "Advancement of Learning" (1605). The Latin is by William Rawley, in close collaboration with Bacon himself, who oversaw the entire process. When speaking of "De Augmentis Scientiarum" one never refers the incomparable English forerunner of the work (which was only in 2 books as opposed to the 9 of the "De Augmentis Scientiarum"). The first English translation of the "De Augmentis Scientiarum" appeared in 1640 and is translated by Gilbert Wats as "Of the Advancement and Proficiencie of Learning".

The "De Augmentis Scientiarum" was intended as Part 1 of Bacon's proposed, but never completed "Instauratio magna" (PMM 119). "Bacon conceived a massive plan for the reorganization of scientific method and gave purposeful thought to the relation of science to public and social life. His pronouncement "I have taken all knowledge to be my province" is the motto of his work... [His] proposal was "a total reconstruction of sciences, arts and all human knowledge... to extend the power and dominion of the human race... over the universe". The plan for this was to be set out in six parts: (1) a complete survey of human knowledge and learning; this was expounded in the "De Augmentis Scientiarum", 1623 (a greatly extended version of "The Advancement of Learning", 1605)... Of parts (3) to (5) only fragments were ever published; part (6) remained unwritten." (PMM 119 - the header being "The Advancement of Learning").

Francis Bacon's Great Instauration for learning and the sciences was thus to be introduced by his most important work, the "De Augmentis Scientiarum", which he himself considered the most fundamental for the project that caused him to be considered one of the fathers of modern science.

"In "De augmentis scientiarum", which is concerned primarily with the classification of philosophy and the sciences, Bacon develops his influential view of the relation between science and theology. He distinguishes in traditional fashion between knowledge by divine revelation and knowledge by the senses, and divides the latter into natural theology, natural philosophy, and the sciences of man... Having placed his project within the complete framework of knowledge in true Aristotelian fashion, Bacon proceeds to demolish all previous pretentions to natural philosophy. His aim is to lay the foundations of science entirely anew, neither leaping to unproved general principles in the manner of the ancient philosophers nor heaping up unrelated facts in the manner of the "empirics" (among whom he counts contemporary alchemists and natural magicians). "Histories," or collections of data, are to be drawn up systematically and used to raise an ordered system of axioms that will eventually embrace all the phenomena of nature."... (D.S.B. I:374-75).

For Bacon, this proposed reformation would lead to a great advancement in science and a progeny of new inventions that would relieve mankind of its miseries. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a turning point in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

It is due to his "De Augmentis Scientiarum" that Bacon is referred to as the creator of empiricism. With this work and the work intended as the second of the Great Restauration project, the "Novum Organum, Bacon established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, that which we now call the Baconian method, or quite simply "the scientific method".

With his belief in the possibility of the advancement of learning of relieving mankind from its miseries and needs, Bacon is furthermore considered the philosophical influence behind the dawning of the Industrial age. He continually proposes that all scientific work should be done for charitable purposes, as matter of alleviating mankind's misery, and that therefore science should be practical and have the purpose of inventing useful things that will improve the conditions of mankind. This proposed change of our collective mind changed the entire course of science in history. The state was no longer merely contemplative; it became a practical and inventive state - one that would have eventually led to the inventions that made possible the Industrial Revolutions of the following centuries.

It is furthermore to be noted that it is in the present work that Bacon presents his cipher method for the first time. He had first mentioned the Biliteral Cypher in a brief paragraph of his "Advancement of Learning" in 1605, but it is in the present work that he details with illustrations how to write and use the Biliteral Cypher. As most will know, Bacon's Cypher has had the greatest of impact on modern Bacon-Shakespeare scholarship. Almost all theories of Bacon as the true author of the Shakespearian corpus can be traced back to the cipher that is presented in 1624 in the "De Augmentis Scientiarum".

"The system has been recognized, and used, since the day that "De Augmentis" was published, and has had its place in every translation and publication of that work since, but the ages have waited to learn that it was embedded in the original books themselves from the date of his earliest writings (1579 as now known) and infolded his secret personal history." (Elizabeth Wells Gallup, The Bi-Literal Cypher of Sir Francis Bacon Discovered in His Works and Deciphered, p. 48).

As is known, since the 19th century, many people have suggested that the plays attributed to William Shakespeare were in fact written by Francis Bacon, and that the published plays contain enciphered messages to that effect. Both Ignatius L. Donnelly and Elizabeth Wells Gallup attempted to find such messages by looking for the use of Bacon's cipher in early printed editions of the plays.

For roughly a century from 1850, Bacon's Cypher set the world of literature on fire. A passion for puzzles, codes, and conspiracies fuelled a widespread suspicion that Shakespeare was not the author of his plays. Professional and amateur scholars from all places all over the world have spent extraordinary amounts of time, energy, and money combing Renaissance texts in search of signatures and other messages that would reveal the true identity of their author. Also great authors and thinkers have been convinced that Shakespeare's works contained a secret message. These include Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Henry Miller, etc. Francis Bacon, with his biliteral cipher -Renaissance England's first and clearest statement about how to hide texts within texts - became the leading candidate for the holder of the key to the puzzle.

The cipher, which consists in an alphabet, was first printed in the present first edition, in 1623. It is to be found in Book 6, Chapter 1. It was reprinted in all the later editions of the work (2nd ed. Paris, 1624; London, 1638; English translation, Oxford, 1640) and the alphabet in all are substantially the same.

Bacon devised this ingenious code in the late 1570s (when he spent three years in the entourage of the English ambassador in France), but he did not describe its workings until 1623.

"Bacon gives both mathematics and analogy which he considers a science and calls "grammatical philosophy," a high place in his Great Instauration; which, when used together help to unlock the doors to that which Bacon has deliberately concealed-- including certain mysteries hidden in the Shakespeare plays. For instance, the two great books published in 1623 were the Shakespeare's Folio "Comedies, Histories & Tragedies" and Bacon's "De Augmentis Scientiarum" {the philosophical background and purpose of the Shakespeare plays} two masterpieces published together, since they are as twins, each being a key to unlock hidden treasures in the other-- two relating to the twin faculties of the mind--imagination and reason--and both drawing upon the third faculty, memory." (Peter Dawkins, "Francis Bacon Herald of the New Age").

Bacon's Cypher, however, has not only been used as the key to the Shakespearian puzzle. It was in fact a highly important cryptographical invention, which constitutes on the the very first English works on the subject (predating Both Wilkins' "Mercury" And Falconer's "Cryptomenysis"). This is one of the earliest illustrations of a cipher intended to hide a text within a text.

Not only is this the first edition of "de Augmentis Scientiarum", it is also the most correct, and in addition the most beautiful.

"First edition, exceedingly scarce, and according to Archbishop Tenison, the "fairest and most correct edition." A copy is in the British Museum." (Lowndes I:95).

Gibson 129a. With the date on both title-pages altered in manuscript, adding a "I", as in some copies (as also noted in the description of e.g. the copy in the Huntington). This was presumably done by either the printer or publisher to those copies that remained unsold at the end of 1623.

A second edition of the "De Augmentis Scientiarum" appeared in Paris in 1624. The first English translations of "De Augmentis Scientiarum" appeared in 1640.

We have not been able to locate a single copy of this first edition in auctions within the last 40 years.

Order-nr.: 48295


DKK 250.000,00