The New Republic: A Commentary on Book I of More’s Utopia by Colin Starnes

By Colin Starnes

Colin Starnes radical interpretation of the long-recognized affinity of Thomas More’s Utopia and Plato’s Republic confirms the intrinsic hyperlinks among the 2 works. via observation on More’s personal advent to ebook I, the writer indicates the Republic is all over the place current because the version of the “best commonwealth,” which extra needs to first discredit because the root reason behind the dreadful evils within the collapsing political scenario of sixteenth-century Europe. Starnes demonstrates how extra, as soon as having shorn the Republic of what used to be appropriate to a society that had for 1000 years authorized and been moved through the Christian revelation, then “Christianized” it to reach at one of many earliest and such a lot coherent bills of the fitting glossy country: the outline of Utopia in booklet II.

realizing this notably new view of a long-recognized place will be puzzled, the writer has incorporated a feedback and appreciation of the opposite significant traces of interpretation touching on More’s Utopia.

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Additional info for The New Republic: A Commentary on Book I of More’s Utopia Showing Its Relation to Plato’s Republic

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3 For Cephalus old age is therefore a kind of inducement to philosophy, leading us to wonder if we are in a right relation to the demands of the gods below who may soon judge us by their standard. He approves Pindar's words concerning the consolations of hope in a just and pious life (331a,b) but proves unable to state what justice is in every case. His definition, which Socrates actually formulates—"to tell the truth and return what one has received" (33 Id)—is, in the end of Plato's argument, shown to be true when taken in the sense of a harmony between the parts of a whole in which each gets its due (see 443d,e as the conclusion of the argument in Books I-IV) and then, further, when it has been shorn of every externality through the discovery of the intelligible Forms (Book V and following).

Xxxiii-xli. So Logan, Meaning,p. 16. , p. xxvi. , pp. cxi-cxiii. Evidence that it was an afterthought is contained in Erasmus' letter to von Hutten where he says, "He had written the second book at his leisure, and afterwards, when he found it was required, added the first off-hand" (emphasis mine; Epistles, Vol. 3, p. 398). In other words the discovery that more was required came only after More had finished the second book. This page intentionally left blank COMMENTARY ON BOOK I OF MORE'S UTOPIA A number of commentators have noted similarities between the beginning of Utopia and the setting of the Republic.

Thus the farmer, for example, requires a smith if he is to have a good plow and a neatherd to look after his draught animals if he is not to be diverted from being a good 36 THE NEW REPUBLIC: A COMMENTARY farmer. The city grows as a result of this calculation beyond the original four—but not limitlessly. In fact, Socrates completes it with the following: herders (oxen, for transportation), neatherds (cattle, for plowing), shepherds (wool, for weaving), carpenters and smiths for tools, "and many similar craftsmen" (370d), shopkeepers (for the exchange of goods), wage-earners (for unskilled labour), and then, on the assumption that it is "practically impossible to establish a city in a region where it will not need imports" (370e),41 haulers and/or seamen (to transport goods to other cities), traders (to deal with the merchandise), and an extra crew of farmers and craftsmen to provide an excess to pay for the imports.

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