WHAT IS A UTOPIA?
According to Wikipedia: “A utopia is an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.” (Wikipedia)
The word utopia comes from the Greek words translated as “not” and “place”, essentially a non-existent society.
The first known instance in which an attempt was made to describe this ideal society and place was by Plato. His famed masterpiece writing of the Republic was the first chronological recording of a utopian proposal.
In subsequent generations after Plato, the utopian subject became widely popular in the literary writings of the 16th century. Thomas Moore published his radical book “Utopia” in 1516 (first edition).
Throughout time, many writers thinkers and philosophers have written and imagined different ideal utopian scenarios. The following are some of the more important utopian varieties the writers imagined:
Ecological – A society which develops new ways of living in and with nature without destroying it.
Economics – A society that abolishes money and shares goods equally among residents.
Religious – A society in which faith governs all aspects of life.
After reading the Republic and reviewing other utopian books I realized that within the literary domain, the utopian subject had been quite fully exhausted. Hundreds of writings or more on the subject could satisfy the curiosity of any utopian aficionado or dedicated book reader.
What was missing, however, was an illustrated art book that would depict the utopian subject in pictures. That lack of visual content was the first catalyst for my book Plato’s Visual Utopia.
Also, read the related Blog posts as follows: Plato’s Academia, Plato and Justice, Plato’s Duality, Plato’s Imitation Theory, The Republic Lead subjects, Plato’s Regimes, Art as Imitation, Duality in Plato’s Republic, Plato and Art, Dystopia Connotations, Utopia Connotations, Plato’s Republic, Who was Plato, Plato’s Visual Utopia book
Featured image – Utopia illustration by the author and artist Daniel Heller.