Friday, 06 November 2009

What does Utopia Utopian mean? Origin and definition.

What does Utopia or Utopian mean?
Start off with the origin of the word. First used in 1516 by Sir Thomas More in his book “Of the Best State of a Republic, and of the New Island Utopia”. On this Island everything was perfect. A state of bliss.
The word Utopia has Greek origins meaning “no place”.
So, if Utopia is no place and Utopia is a place of harmony and bliss then one could deduct that Utopia does not exist, as in no place is a place of bliss and harmony?
I am still trying to get my mind around what I typed in the previous sentence, but it makes sense if you read it more than once.
Utopia appears to be more of a philosophical concept than a practical place. Utopia or Utopian is commonly defined as a place, or more commonly as a political concept, that is strived towards but never really achieved.
A definition from a philosophical dictionary states “ an imagined perfect place or state of things”, which is the best definition I could find.
Most other dictionaries revolve around words such as “idealistic and impractical state of affairs.”
Therefore, Utopian can be seen as more inspirational concept than practical, something to aim for (perfection) that is not realistically attainable in the real world.
A Idealist would have Utopian goals, which would be in direct contrast with the thinking of Cynics or Skeptics
A modern day example of a Utopian concept?
Everyone on earth having a common understanding of climate change and a global practical plan to address the problem.

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