Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Hartlib, Samuel

Born: 1596–1600, Elbing (Elbląg) (Prussia, Kingdom of Poland)
Died: 10 March 1662, Westminster, London
  • Andrea StrazzoniEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_503-1


The main aim of Samuel Hartlib was to provide an advancement of learning finalized to the amelioration of the material conditions of men and the pursuit of a religious peace, i.e., the unification of the Protestants. To this aim, inspired by Comenius, he devoted his efforts or gathering knowledge by the creation of a society or office of learned men (in technical fields, philosophy, and theology), and by the establishment of a network of correspondents (the Hartlib Circle). The method of discovery underlying his program of advancement of learning was inspired by Bacon’s Novum Organum and by Jacopo Aconcio’s method of analysis, while the categorization and transmission of knowledge had to be based on commonplace books and artificial languages. His plan of economic improvement, to be fulfilled mainly through the amelioration of husbandry, was motivated by the Puritan Millenarianism to which he adhered.


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Primary literature

  1. Hartlib, Samuel. 1630. Letter from Samuel Hartlib to John Dury, 13 Sept 1630. EMLO, http://tinyurl.com/79g5ddl. Accessed 30 Mar 2016.
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Secondary Literature

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Antichistica, Lingue, Educazione e Filosofia (A.L.E.F.)Università degli Studi di ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Gotha Research CentreUniversity and Research LibraryErfurt/GothaGermany