Utopia: The Potential and Prospect of the Human Condition

Overview

Amid the twentieth century's seemingly overwhelming problems, some thinkers dared to envisage a world order governed by utopian proposals that would eliminate—or at least alleviate—the evils of society and secure positive advantages for all human beings. Others found this utopian optimism a hopeless fantasy and predicted a utopian order only repressiveness, boredom, and the impoverishment of human experience. The unique gathering of articles in Utopia vividly demonstrates the tension existing between utopian ...

See more details below
Paperback
$29.89
BN.com price
(Save 3%)$30.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $9.00   
  • New (6) from $9.00   
  • Used (3) from $36.09   
Sending request ...

Overview

Amid the twentieth century's seemingly overwhelming problems, some thinkers dared to envisage a world order governed by utopian proposals that would eliminate—or at least alleviate—the evils of society and secure positive advantages for all human beings. Others found this utopian optimism a hopeless fantasy and predicted a utopian order only repressiveness, boredom, and the impoverishment of human experience. The unique gathering of articles in Utopia vividly demonstrates the tension existing between utopian ideas and their proponents and the severe criticism of their adversaries.

Among utopia's enthusiastic supporters, B. F. Skinner outlines the educational practices needed to sustain his concept of utopia, while Margaret Mead sets forth a bold defense of utopian vision in her article "Towards More Vivid Utopias." In active opposition to modern utopian idealism, Ralf Dahrendorf, the prominent German sociologist and politician, compares utopia with a cemetery and criticizes its fixed and uneventful life, and J. L. Talmon predicts that, since utopianism postulates absolute social cohesion, there is no escape from dictatorship in the utopian design. Still another alternative is offered by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who bases his futurist ideology on the trends of technology in the advanced countries of the world, especially the United States. He sees in the conscious application of technical-scientific rationality by an intellectual elite the method by which the promises of modern knowledge can be made good.

Underscoring the fact that the utopian tradition can make us look at the real world with new eyes, George Kateb, the editor of Utopia, clarifies the terms of this long-standing debate and offers a thorough analysis of the "strong utopian impetus to save the world from as much of its confusion and disorder as possible." The work is an argument neither for utopian or anti-utopian visions. Rather it shows the possibilities of political norms in advancing the human condition in open societies.

George Kateb is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Emeritus at Princeton University. He formerly had the roles of Director of the Program in Political Philosophy, Director of the Gauss Seminars, and Director of the University Center for Human Values all at Princeton University. His most recent book is Patriotism and Other Mistakes and he is also the author of many scholarly articles mainly in the fields of constitutional law and the Bill of Rights.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780202361888
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction   George Kateb     1
An Essay on Utopian Possibility   Francis Golffing   Barbara Golffing     29
Towards More Vivid Utopias   Margaret Mead     41
Freedom and the Control of Men   B. F. Skinner     57
The Cult of Efficiency   Christopher Jencks     77
The Anti-Utopia of the Twentieth Century   Eugen Weber     81
Utopianism and Politics   J. L. Talmon     91
Out of Utopia: Toward a Reorientation of Sociological Analysis   Ralf Dahrendorf     103
America in the Technetronic Age   Zbigniew Brzezinski     127
Robots and Rebels   Arthur P. Mendel     151
Index     157
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)