Utopia: An Ideal Man Essay

Utopia: An Ideal Man

            Philosophers throughout the history of man had always sought the ideal society. Philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine argued that an ideal society is something where all men use reason as the basis of action. St. Thomas Aquinas, the medieval philosopher and theologian, argued that an ideal society is something that approximates the ‘New Jerusalem.’ Later philosophers like Descartes, Kant, and Russell argued for a less rigid and ‘out of bound’ society. For example, Kant argued that an ideal society is simply a community of reasonable individuals (reasonableness is not an equivalent of rationality).

            In the construction of an ideal society, there must be first assumptions about man, the individual. In an ideal society, the individual is, of course, rational – calculating benefits over costs and overtly conscious of the welfare of other individuals. There is no conflict for being overtly concerned with the welfare of others and rationality. Some philosophers argued that an ‘irrational’ act is sometimes considered a rational act, from the point of view of other individuals. Because rationality is a difficult concept to define, then one is forced to limit its meaning. A rational individual is an individual who follows moral and humanitarian precepts, and calculates benefits over costs (in microcosmic action).

            The ideal society would have to base its existence from the spirit of cooperation. All public projects would be shared by individuals based on his owned resources. There is no economic equality, only equality of opportunities. Individuals would have to compete rationally in a perfectly competitive form of market.