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A utopia (/jˈtpiə/ yoo-TOH-pee-ə) is a possible community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.[1] The term was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the south Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia, which dominates the fictional literature.

A utopia focuses on equality in such categories as economics, government and justice, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology.[2] Lyman Tower Sargent argues that utopia's nature is inherently contradictory because societies are not homogeneous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. According to Sargent:

There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [ Naturism, Nude Christians, ...] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here.[3]

Etymology

The word utopia was coined from Ancient Greek by Sir Thomas More in 1516. “Utopia” comes from Greek: οὐ (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) which translates as “no-place” and literally means any non-existent society, when ‘described in considerable detail’. However, in standard usage, the word's meaning has shifted and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society.[4]

In his original work, More carefully pointed out the similarity of utopia to eutopia, which is from Greek: εὖ (“good” or “well”) and τόπος (“place”), hence eutopia means “good place”, which ostensibly would be the more appropriate term for the concept the word “utopia” has in modern English. The pronunciations of eutopia and utopia in English are identical, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.[4][5]

Interpretations and definitions

Famous writers about utopia:

  • "There is nothing like a dream to create the future. Utopia to-day, flesh and blood tomorrow." —Victor Hugo
  • "A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias." —Oscar Wilde
  • "Utopias are often

    A utopia focuses on equality in such categories as economics, government and justice, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology.[2] Lyman Tower Sargent argues that utopia's nature is inherently contradictory because societies are not homogeneous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. According to Sargent:

    There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [ Naturism, Nude Christians, ...] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here.[3]

The word utopia was coined from Ancient Greek by Sir Thomas More in 1516. “Utopia” comes from Greek: οὐ (“not”) and τόπος (“place”) which translates as “no-place” and literally means any non-existent society, when ‘described in considerable detail’. However, in standard usage, the word's meaning has shifted and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society.[4]

In his original work, More carefully pointed out the similarity of utopia to eutopia, which is from Greek: εὖ (“good” or “well”) and τόπος (“place”), hence eutopia means “good place”, which ostensibly would be the more appropriate term for the concept the word “utopia” has in modern English. The pronunciations of eutopia and utopia in English are identical, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.[4][5]

Interpretations and definitions

Famous writers about utopia:

Utopian socialist Etienne Cabet in his utopian book The Voyage to Icaria cited definition from contemporary Dictionary of ethical and political sciences: "Utopias and other models of governmen

In his original work, More carefully pointed out the similarity of utopia to eutopia, which is from Greek: εὖ (“good” or “well”) and τόπος (“place”), hence eutopia means “good place”, which ostensibly would be the more appropriate term for the concept the word “utopia” has in modern English. The pronunciations of eutopia and utopia in English are identical, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.[4][5]

Famous writers about utopia: