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'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
Thomas More (1477/8–1535) was an English lawyer, philosopher, and statesman. In 1534 he was tried as a traitor at Westminster Hall for his refusal to accept the royal supremacy over the church and was later beheaded on Tower Hill. Pope Pius XI canonized him in 1935.
Dominic Baker-Smith is an emeritus professor at the University of Amsterdam and the author of a book-length study of Thomas More's Utopia.