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MAKING THE “ROUND OF KNOWLEDGE” IN BACON’S WAKE: NAUDÉ, COMENIUS, AND BROWNE

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Author(s): Christopher D. JOHNSON

Journal: Societate şi Politică
ISSN 1843-1348

Volume: 5;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Francis Bacon | Gabriel Naudé | John Evelyn | Jan Amos Comenius | Thomas Browne | library | encyclopedia

ABSTRACT
This paper examines how three of FrancisBacon’s readers, Gabriel Naudé, Jan Amos Comenius, and ThomasBrowne, rethink the humanist library, the genre of the silva, and Bacon’s callfor a new kind of encyclopedism. Naudé adumbrates the organization andcontents of the ideal library so that judicious readers may integrate the oldand new learning. In calling for a single pansophist book, Comenius heraldsBacon’s inductive method and yet would restore metaphysics to theencyclopedia. And after his own efforts in Baconian encyclopedism in thePseudodoxia Epidemica, Thomas Browne writes a catalogue of books andartifacts that is at once an elegy to the republic of letters and a ludic plea toinclude admiratio in “the round of knowledge.” This diverse receptionhistory emblemizes the rich, often contradictory potential of Bacon’sencyclopedic vision.
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