"Rossi's book is perhaps the most important work on Bacon written in this century" claimed a British scholar in 1988. Originally published in 1957, this classic volume - now available in its definitive edition - is a veritable milestone in the historiography of the origins of modern science. Rossi shows how the ideas of the man considered the father of modern science were firmly rooted in traditional magical and alchemical knowledge. Bacon is a product of Renaissance philosophies and simultaneously rejects them. The text recounts the complexity of the English philosopher's intellectual journey "from magic to science" and highlights both connections and elements of discontinuity with the past. The author emphasises Bacon's notion of a cooperative and public science, that is, a science shaped by the contributions of many individuals and aiming to dominate nature and promote human progress.
Paolo Rossi is professor emeritus at the University of Florence; many of his works have been translated.