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Francis Bacon’s Scientia Operativa, The Tradition Of The Workshops, And The Secrets Of Nature

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Chapter Summary

Paolo Rossi and other scholars have highlighted the influence on Francis Bacon of the magic-alchemical tradition, the revaluation of technical knowledge by 16th-century mechanists, the treatises on rhetoric and the arts of discourse. This chapter examines the rich environment to which the young Bacon was exposed during his stay in France, the persons he might have met, the texts he have might have read, and the way in which technology was represented and perceived in Paris during the religious wars. It focuses mainly on the biography of one academician, Jacques Besson, who authored the first Theater of machines in Europe and whose life and works offer rich material for the analysis of the contextual significance of the theatres of machines during the economic, political and religious crisis of the late 16th century.

Keywords: Europe; France; Francis Bacon; Jacques Besson; late 16th century; magic-alchemical tradition; religious wars; technical knowledge; Theater of machines



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