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Comment by Daniel Giron on September 24th, 2012 at 10:32 am

Sadly, this article looks rather than an improvement of the Wikipedia article, of lower quality.
Several problems I see in it are:
1. The implication that Utopia is something that’s possible to realize is quite unfounded, especially the sentence: “Many works of utopian literature offer detailed and practical descriptions of an ideal society.” If these descriptions were practical, you’d wonder why none of the attempts to found societies based on them succeeded. Most major uses of Utopia in philosophy is actually of the negative type, using it to imply that the ideal society so described is impossible to achieve, for various reasons.
2. “Utopia, largely based on Plato’s Republic” – This is a novel idea, but having read both Plato’s Republic and More’s Utopia, “largely based” is also largely wrong to say. When did Plato describe the social formations in his Republic? Where did he state that it’s a Ou-topia? His Republic is an attempt at describing the internal workings of the soul, and not a real state, and as such, he didn’t need to describe these and a great many other aspects that More thought of on his own in his Utopia.
3. The paragraph starting with: “During the nineteenth century, ” has several errors. First, the “utopia socialists” never called themselves this way, and Marx and Engels were among a few who did refer to them under this name. Second, you should give some references to the fact that they popularized the idea. If this encyclopedia states that “Research begins here” you need to give better references to where your research itself came from. Third, Summarizing Marx and Engels’s attitude towards these utopians in one sentence is both wrong and unjust, since they had many references to them and these utopians contributed in many ways to Marxism, which you fail to mention.
4. In the passage about economic utopias, you mention that there was a “utopian socialism movement”. This never existed, and the several thinkers, Saint-Simon, Owen, Fourier and a few others were usually at odds with each others as to how it should work, they were never of one mind and therefore never even considered forming a “movement” or such.
5. The word “Outopia” comes from the greek “ou” + “topos”, not from latin, and not from “uo” which doesn’t mean anything in latin.

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on September 25th, 2012 at 10:11 am

Thank you, Daniel, for your helpful feedback. The article is being revised to address the problems you raised.

Thank you again for taking the time to comment and help make NWE a valuable informational resource.

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