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Utopia

Utopia

by Thomas More

Philosophical Viewpoints: Political Philosophy Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

We made no inquiries, however, about monsters, which are the routine of traveler's tales. Scyllas, ravenous Celaenos, man-eating Lastrygonians and that sort of monstrosity you can hardly avoid, but to find governments wisely established and sensibly ruled is not so easy. (1.12)

More is describing a pretty bleak political landscape here. You know you're in a political crisis when finding a well-governed country is more exciting and rare than a monster.

Quote #2

Peter replied, "[...] I do not mean that you should be in servitude to any king, only in his service."

"The difference is only a matter of one syllable," Raphael replied. (1.13)

As the More, Giles, and Hythloday debate gets going, we get a nice illustration of the divergent points of view on what it means to be involved in politics. Giles and More tend to agree, while Hythloday (surprise surprise) is the resident pessimist.

Quote #3

Your learning is so full, that even if it weren't combined with experience [...] you would be an extraordinary counsellor to any king in the world. (1.14)

More and Giles might be a tad frustrated with Hythloday's lack of interest in involving himself politically. Come on, Hythloday. Smart people should be out there advising kings—let's go!

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