Building the Ideal City: Ethics and Economic Foundations of Realizable Utopias
This course introduces students to the investigation of the roles that economic concepts such as profit, work, utility, and exchange play in defining the ideal city as a realizable political project. Students will investigate ethical and economic concepts and their interrelation in the debate on the best form of State and government that developed from antiquity to modern American Utopian Communities. The course includes texts from various sources, philosophical, theological, juridical, and literary. Through these readings, students learn how theoretical and practical ideas on the best form of society developed in time and influence modern political thought. The course focuses on the impact of the socio-economic doctrines of the Church in shaping the idea of a possible, realizable, ideal city. Among the texts and authors included are Plato, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Boccaccio, Thomas Moore, Leon Battista Alberti, Tommaso Campanella, and Francis Bacon.