College Of Arts And Sciences | Utopias
E103 | 0051 | Hanson, K.
What would an ideal society be like? How would its members relate to
one another and to the physical world? Would the ideal state impose
any unwelcome restraints or require any personal sacrifices? Is
there an inevitable conflict between a human desire for happiness and
a human desire for freedom? Must individuality be diminished for
communal good? Are the problems of actual societies a product of
social structures or are they due to human nature?
In considering these questions raised by utopian theories, we will
read both philosophical and literary sources, including Plato (The
Republic), Aristotle (Politics), More, Freud (Civilization and Its
Discontents). Students will be expected to participate in class
discussions and analytical debates, to write some short papers, and
to complete a take-home final examination.