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Essay Samples > Book Review > Thomas Mores Utopia
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Thomas Mores Utopia

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One may wonder what valid source of knowledge is. Knowledge can be viewed to be those good ideas that are meant to make you have a good understanding of humans and life with the surroundings. This kind of knowledge needs to be a source of sharing to produce better results which should also be appreciated. For instance, in the book of Utopia, Thomas More proves this by trying to advise Raphael to share whatever knowledge he had acquired with the King while visiting the other countries. This is because according Thomas More, Raphael has "sailed not as a seaman, but as a traveler, or rather a philosopher" (Page 2) who can put the knowledge he has gained in his journey and share it out with the King. Raphael refutes this advice claiming that he does not want to be a slave of any King and furthermore, Kings only think about war but not knowledge which can be of help in their countries by improving the society and the conditions of living. He says that good ideas are always diminished in a show of power and pride.

With the entire refusal from Raphael, Sir Thomas More, still preferred Raphael to put into practice whatever knowledge he had acquired from his journey to benefit their country. According to Sir Thomas, practical knowledge was better of since everything being done can be observed and encourage some reaction from the citizens to the changes that has been witnessed rather than theoretical knowledge which is just said than being done and this was proved by his words "So much learning as you have, even without practice in affairs, or so great a practice as you have had, without any other learning, would render you a very fit counselor to any King whatsoever." By this he meant that whatever knowledge Raphael had gotten, he was supposed to apply it practically by sharing it with the King to benefit the nation.

In the issues of epistemology, Thomas More eludes to the fact that it is up to the Utopians to distinguish between the true and counterfeit pleasures which results to the either good or bad values or morals in the society. True pleasures are concerned with the movements of the body and the state of mind in which a person digests whatever he or she is being told or whatever that is being observed. If one digests the true values and morals then the likelihood of reflecting in true knowledge such as respect for the elders and the obedience to the governor of the family will be part and parcel of knowledge gained and shared. Wives ever since have shown the values of serving their husbands as the same values are passed to their children to serve their parents the same. This can be proved by "Values 2: Everybody respects their elders, and is obedient to the governor of their family. People value their duties, and so wives serve their husbands, and children serve their parents."

All these values and the morals are brought about through the means of education. Thomas More acknowledges that knowledge is all about education. He believes that every Utopian child should receive a through education because it is through this education that the values and dispositions of citizens are modeled to determine their future. And these Utopians have been conducting their education using their native languages for better understanding. Knowledge and education combined together can increase the good virtues needed in any person hence making him to be respected in the society and even have a happier life. This assumption has been proved by Thomas More when he engages himself in support of Giles in advising Raphael when telling him that the education he had and knowledge would render him an excellent councilor to the King. This shows the way Thomas More values education and its fruits afterwards.

The book Utopia from Thomas More has involved itself all kinds of dialogue with the earlier works of knowledge and the recent works also on knowledge (Guy, p.56). Classical Greek is known to have become a major study in the early 15th century to provide scholars with fuller and more but accurate knowledge of the ancient civilization. In these studies alluded by More, most of the knowledge included apart from those of Thomas More were the works of Plato, the Homeric epics, the Greek tragedies not leaving behind the narratives of Plutarch and Xenophon. It is because of these classical texts that Poggio Bracciolini discovered the important classical text and was motivated to go a head to study Roman ruins and inscriptions hence creating the study of classical archaeology.

Thomas More p.87in his book he says, "For if you [the rulers] suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves [and outlaws] and then punish them." This kind of the idea brings about arguments of either implicitly or explicitly about knowledge whereby we shouldn't look at the rules put in place, but one needs to look at his conscious first so as it can be easier to organize the body of knowledge from raw, factual data in order to gain an understanding before contemplating on the issue (Rogers, p.149). This knowledge can be applied through wisdom of understanding to come up with better reasoning of better choices in life to be made. The informal knowledge is normally based on the facts that, it can be easily be understood and take to account the non reasonable arguments which are normally identified to be negative epistemological reasons while formal knowledge is normally all about the basis of any kind of argument.

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