Live Long & Prosper: Utopian philosophy from Plato to Star Trek Utopia



Download 116.45 Kb.
Page1/4
Date19.05.2016
Size116.45 Kb.
  1   2   3   4
Live Long & Prosper: Utopian philosophy from Plato to Star Trek

Utopia is a name for an ideal community or society possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was invented by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempted to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. It has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia.

The word comes from the Greek, "not", and, "place", indicating that More was utilizing the concept as allegory and did not consider such an ideal place to be realistically possible.


Utopia is largely based on Plato's Republic. It is a perfect version of Republic wherein the beauties of society reign (e.g.: equality and a general pacifist attitude), although its citizens are all ready to fight if need be. The evils of society, e.g.: poverty and misery, are all removed. It has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war, but hires mercenaries from among its war-prone neighbors (these mercenaries were deliberately sent into dangerous situations in the hope that the more warlike populations of all surrounding countries will be weeded out, leaving peaceful peoples). The society encourages tolerance of all religions. Some readers, including utopian socialists, have chosen to accept this imaginary society as the realistic blueprint for a working nation, while others have postulated nothing of the sort.
Is such a utopian society possible? Desirable?

What are some of the barriers preventing it?

How might such a society evolve from our current state of world affairs?

Would such a utopian society need to have territorial boundaries; citizenship requirements; immigration restrictions; population limits; self-contained, sustainable resources; correctional facilities; banishment provisions; etc.?

What role would technology play in enhancing or inhibiting the development of utopia?
Join Plato’s Cave philosophers as we consider the psycho-social-cultural-anthropological complexities involved in the potential evolution of a utopian society.
LIVE LONG & PROSPER: Philosophy of ideal/Utopian societies in Science-Fiction

Posted by: Ben Forbes Griffith on May 17, 2010

We've done a lot in recent meetups regarding the ontology, ethics, and epistemology of humans - but let's broaden that debate to ethics writ-large (imposed, indoctrinated, or institutionalized), i.e. how an "ideal" human society could BEST promote the "good life" / "human flourishing" / peace & justice that we've talked so much about in other recent meetups. Examples from Star Trek have already been quite frequently mentioned, and we can delve into those specifically in the detail they deserve; however, there are also numerous other sci-fi works we could draw on - while while still narrowing the focus of the discussion to "utopian politics" and using imaginary visions of possible futures as lenses to comment on, better understand, or transcend both current and past human societies... Or, can we even initially agree that no human utopia has YET existed on a large scale? Moreover, shall it ever be possible that one could exist (e.g. the Federation in Star Trek, if some of us think that might be an example)?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia

Utopia is a name for an ideal community or society possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was invented by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempted to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. It has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia.

The word comes from the Greek, "not", and, "place", indicating that More was utilizing the concept as allegory and did not consider such an ideal place to be realistically possible. The English homophone Eutopia, derived from the Greek, "good" or "well", and, "place", signifies a double meaning.


Utopia is largely based on Plato's Republic.[2] It is a perfect version of Republic wherein the beauties of society reign (e.g.: equality and a general pacifist attitude), although its citizens are all ready to fight if need be. The evils of society, e.g.: poverty and misery, are all removed. It has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war, but hires mercenaries from among its war-prone neighbors (these mercenaries were deliberately sent into dangerous situations in the hope that the more warlike populations of all surrounding countries will be weeded out, leaving peaceful peoples). The society encourages tolerance of all religions. Some readers, including utopian socialists, have chosen to accept this imaginary society as the realistic blueprint for a working nation, while others have postulated More intended nothing of the sort. Some[who?] maintain the position that More's Utopia functions only on the level of a satire, a work intended to reveal more about the England of his time than about an idealistic society. This interpretation is bolstered by the title of the book and nation, and its apparent confusion between the Greek for "no place" and "good place": "utopia" is a compound of the syllable ou-, meaning "no", and topos, meaning place. But the homophonic prefix eu-, meaning "good," also resonates in the word, with the implication that the perfectly "good place" is really "no place."

Another version of this concept is found in the Panchaea island, of the "Sacred History" book of Euhemerus, a writer from the 3rd century BC.







Share with your friends:
  1   2   3   4




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page