IS 302 : Visions of Utopia

If some forms of social life are better than others, which form would be best? This course will investigate this question in a cross-disciplinary manner by examining conceptions of the ideal utopian society as expressed in classic writings from philosophy and literature. Potential authors include Plato, More, Marx, Nietzsche, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Skinner, Burgess, and Nozick.


ENGL& 102 or ENGL 325, or permission of instructor.

Course Outcomes

  1. To assess the utopian views of the various authors discussed in class on the basis of both philosophical and literary principles of analysis.
  2. To analyze the language used to communicate each vision of utopia.
  3. To recognize the types of political, economic, and technological issues that must be addressed in forming a vision of the ideal social arrangement.
  4. To identify the main obstacles to achieving a stable utopian society.
  5. To develop and defend his or her own conception of the ideal society.