The Concept of Utopia
is a discussion of different theories of utopia.
The emphasis is on the works of Marxist philosophers and in particular
on attempts to incorporate utopian ideas into Marxism, so some knowledge
of the latter is probably necessary for a useful reading. The authors
discussed in depth include Karl Mannheim, Georges Sorel, Ernst Bloch,
William Morris and Herbert Marcuse.
Levitas' final suggestion is for a (psychological) definition of utopia
in terms of desire, rather than a literary one in terms of form or a
political one in terms of content or function. The Concept of Utopia
is not easy reading, but it covers a lot of interesting material, and
has inspired me to read some of the authors it discusses.
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