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Utopia

Utopia

by Thomas More

Philosophical Viewpoints: Political Philosophy Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

At the same time [counsellors] endorse and flatter the most absurd statements of the prince's special favorites, through whose influence they hope to stand well with the prince. (1.14)

This sound-bite is pretty representative of Hythloday's general attitude toward political life: courts are places for flattery, not philosophical honesty.

Quote #5

When I had finished this account, I added that I saw no reason why this policy could not be adopted even in England [...] but the lawyer replied that such a system could never be practiced [...] without putting the commonwealth in danger (1.25)

Idealism, meet realism. Hythloday uses this as an example of why his voice would not be welcome in a Renaissance court.

Quote #6

No wonder we are so far from happiness when philosophers do not condescend even to assist kings with their counsel (1.28)

We hear you, More. But does Hythloday? How can politics improve philosophically if there are no, um, philosophers?

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