Utopias and Utopianism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Inspiration of Utopianism

The forerunners of the utopian tradition are the fables and myths of the golden age, the Garden of Eden, or some benign state of nature. These inherited stories, although of considerable antiquity, look back to some even more remote time in the misty past when harmony was allegedly the normal condition of life. Remorse or nostalgia is the usual accompaniment of these stories. Reality is not what it was, and worldly good sense holds that it is not likely that life will ever be again what it was—except perhaps through some divine intercession.

An uncontrived harmony characterized the primal felicity. Simple people led lives as simple as themselves; because human nature was undeveloped, they were easily made content. If the glories and pleasures of civilization were missing, so were its artificialities, corruptions, and physical and psychological sufferings. Whenever disgust or disenchantment with...

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This section contains 4,409 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Utopias and Utopianism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Utopias and Utopianism from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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