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McMaster University
Political Science
John W Seaman

Political theory October 14 2011 lecture 10 Political theory October 19 2011 lecture 11MORE UTOPIAtwo weeks on utopiaidealismthtwo philosophical works in the 16 century utopia and the princethe prince was written earlier than utopia 1513 moore 1515the prince lies in ambiguity of mores work which is modern in private property and apparent defence of communism More was far in advance than his time however much of his outlook can go back to medievalmore was caught between two worlds dying voice of the old world and anticipator of the new world transitional figure between P and MMacavelli antagonist of utopiacritic of greek and roman philosophy and therefore is a critique of Thomas more himselfmore introductionnotes from the editorson of a man who practiced law father got him to serve in cardinal more opportunity to see the publicpolitical realm and how it workseducated in oxford university and studied lawundersherrif of Englandmember of king henry 8 councillord chancellor and second to the kind himselfvery important political figure and shortly after he was nonexistant4 years later he resigned because he refused to support the act submission of the clergy because it dimished the authority of the roman catholic popefurther he refused to acknowledge the authority because it gave a veto power to king henry 81534 he was imprisoned because he refused to swear allegiance to the act of succession that acknowledged male heirsMoore rejected the kings claim to be the good defender of faithexecuted because of failure to following the actexecuted like S did not accept the God of the nation and he was executed for a political subversion of the kings authorityutopia formatted by greek adverb ou and noun topos it means no place not here and even no wherethe title of the work is a work split into two separate books state of the commonwealth and the other in titled new island of utopiabook 1 best state of commonwealth deals with discussion and debate between Thomas more himself and the major character raphelle R was introduced to more by a friend and is described as a stranger cloak hanging loosely from his shoulders weird looking R is portrayed as knowing unknown people in the unknown land the island of utopia and the people of utopiathe discussiondebate in book 1 starts with a dry disinteresting topic desirable to enter into the kings servicewhether it is a good idea to engage in politics or avoid politicsM and live a life of philosophy as R appears to do In the course of this debate socialecopol issues that have some modern issues private property Marx would call primitive capital propertyIs private property early form of capitalism legitimate or justcan the els of society be resolved byor does it require something more revolutionaryduring this debate P goes into detail of critique of Europein book 2 R regards as a betterideal model of society utopia societythe practices utopia is not a society that exists in mind only but is presented as an already existing society close to north and south Americacharacteristics rejection of the regime of private property and extensive form of communisminterpretive dispute of doctrine more advocates for central issues does more believe that the private life of contemplation of philosophy is best More defends the life of service devoted to the king and politicsand R who opposes entering the kings service and recommends the contemplationmore acknowledges that R view that the contemplation is appropriatestatus of communism most important features of the account given by R two subordinate questions did more believe in communism as an ultimate ideal Problem here is raised that the defence of communism in utopia is put in the mouth of Rmore presents to crtiticsms of communismdid more actually believe in communism Some commentators would argue either wayfor those who have argued that M did agree it raises one further question if M did agree did he nonetheless regard it as a work of alternative in this world or a construction of a society that could never work in this worldMOREUTOPIABOOK 1More argues that it would be good for Rto enter into some kings service More makes the suggestion on 13 repeats it in 27 and a modified form on 25 He rejects his suggestion the debate between more and R focuses on the issue on whether one should be politically active or alternatively to live a life centered on scholarship or philosophy R launches into an extensive critic on economic social political on Europe the practice of executing thieves in unjust and ineffective provides an economic critique on povertyattacks the Nobel class provides a persuasive account of land enclosure on the poor and claims that private property is the rule of all evilexamine the debate of life of politics and life of contemplationmore initial suggestion that R should be a council to the king on page 16 and response on 27he emphasizes the benefits the council would provide to the king and the subjects under their careM says I think if you could bring yourself to devote your intelligence and ability to public affairs you would be doing something to your philosophic naturebest perform such a service to cite to just and Nobel actions for peoples happiness and misery flows from a never failing spring P13 R response to first suggestion is to claim that the pubic would not be better off if he exchanged his contemplation for politicsit would not make society better ofskepticism and cynicism about princes
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