Francis Bacon's The Advancement of Learning (1605) is considered the first major philosophical book written in English. In it, Bacon is concerned with scientific learning: the current state of knowledge, obstacles to its progress, and his own plans for revitalization of schools and universities. Here Bacon sets forth the first account of science as intended for "the relief of man's estate."
Difficult and fundamental, The Advancement of Learning helps define the modern era.
"This extraordinary genius, when it was impossible to write a history of what men already knew, wrote one of that which they had to learn." —Diderot
"Bacon was the first to address the issues that have again become so pressing in our time: Why should we pursue scientific progress? What are the implications of modern science for religion and morality? Does technology enhance or disfigure the human soul? . . . It is therefore hard to imagine a book more attuned to our times." —from the new Introduction by Jerry Weinberger
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a philosopher, statesman, and essayist. He served as the attorney general and Lord Chancellor of England and was the author of Novum Organum.
Jerry Weinberger is Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University.