Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Arts and Humanities Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Why Bacon’S Utopia Is Not A Dystopia: Technological And Ethical Progress In The New Atlantis, Daniel Schwartz Mar 2014

Why Bacon’S Utopia Is Not A Dystopia: Technological And Ethical Progress In The New Atlantis, Daniel Schwartz

Arts and Letters Conference

One of the unique Utopian visions put forth in the 17th century was that of Francis Bacon. His New Atlantis portrays a technological Utopia on the fictional island of Bensalem. Although Bensalem’s laws are just and its people generous, Bacon’s emphasis is on how the society is organized with an eye to technological progress. Today, a Baconian society is often thought to be dystopian. Bacon is criticized for neglecting the fact that technology can be used for evil ends and even take on a life of its own, reshaping our world for the worse. Some also criticize Bacon ...


Technocracy And Organization: Utopia And The Question Of Value-Pluralism, Wade Roberts Mar 2014

Technocracy And Organization: Utopia And The Question Of Value-Pluralism, Wade Roberts

Arts and Letters Conference

In this essay I will examine technological utopias, in which scientists and technocratic experts wield the power of knowledge and planning in order to produce a harmonious social order in which conflict has been eliminated (examples are Bacon’s New Atlantis, as well as the various Enlightenment utopias of authors such as Condorcet). I argue that one of the central problems with technological utopias is that they transfer decision-making/organizational authority and power over to experts who implicitly presuppose a monistic and quasi-utilitarian conception of the good. Following Berlin, I contend that the irreconcilable conflict of certain core values inevitably ...


Realism As A Constraint On Fantasy, Jon Garthoff Mar 2014

Realism As A Constraint On Fantasy, Jon Garthoff

Arts and Letters Conference

In this essay I discuss how realism operates to constrain works of creative fantasy. Most of the discussion concerns games, especially role-playing games, that take place in a fantasy milieu. I also discuss the role of realism in utopian political philosophy, however, including in particular John Rawls's conception of political theory as a search for a "realistic utopia". Realism plays a surprisingly similar role limiting and informing the content of fantasies in these apparently unrelated domains; Rawls's understanding of realism as a limit on utopian thought illuminates how realism serves as a constraint on fantasy games. I close ...