‘Even if you can’t eradicate harmful ideas or remedy established evils, that’s no reason to turn your back on the body politic’ In Utopia, Thomas More gives us a traveller’s account of a newly-discovered island where the inhabitants enjoy a social order based on natural reason and justice, and human fulfilment is open to all. As the traveller, Raphael, describes the island to More, a bitter contrast is drawn between this rational society and the custom-driven practices of Europe. So how can the philosopher try to reform his society? In his fictional discussion, More takes up a question first raised by Plato and which is still a challenge in the contemporary world. In the history of political thought few works have been more influential than Utopia, and few more misunderstood. Dominic Baker-Smith’s introduction examines the conflicting voices and perspectives of More’s masterpiece and relates them to the European context of his time. This new edition also includes a chronology, notes, appendices, glossary and suggested further reading. Translated and introduced by Dominic Baker-Smith
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