The City of the Sun: A Poetical Dialogue

Review of Metaphysics 37 (4):845-846 (1984)
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The City of the Sun is Tommaso Campanella's best known work, even though it represents only a small fraction of the vast literary production of a man who claimed to have been called to reform society, religion, and all the sciences and spent many years of his troubled life in writing on the most disparate subjects. The work, as the subtitle indicates, is a poetical dialogue describing an imaginary and hypothetical state ruled by philosophers who have never come into contact with Christian revelation and whose only guide is reason. Written along the lines of Thomas More's Utopia and Plato's Republic, Campanella's fictional dialogue contains the germs of many social, political, and educational reforms that would be beneficial to the state, even though the system of community of goods and women strongly advocated by the rulers of the ideal republic does not seem to do justice to the rights of the individual citizens.



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