Constantly interrogated by utopian writers, death has instigated bold theories. In Thomas More’s Libellus vere aureus Raphael Hythloday explains how and why death on the island of Utopia has been rationalized. Such radical assumptions about when and how to die diversely shape More’s theories as a utopian thinker, his stance as a statesman, and his convictions as a religious person. Whereas More’s commitment to Catholic doctrine prevailed over his allegiance to the king, he seems to overturn it in Utopia, a country in which euthanasia is highly institutionalized as well as commonly and openly practiced. This article pursues a dual purpose. It explores the ways in which More develops his provocative attitude toward health and death by merging classical notions, early modern re-elaborations, and religious beliefs about acts of self-killing or intentionally ending a life in order to relieve incurable suffering. It situates issues of health and death in More’s Utopia and early modern thought within the contemporary debate on end-of-life decisions.

Acerba illa vita velut carcere atque aculeo. Health or death in More’s Libellus vere aureus: Early modern thought and contemporary debate

SPINOZZI, Paola
2016

Abstract

Constantly interrogated by utopian writers, death has instigated bold theories. In Thomas More’s Libellus vere aureus Raphael Hythloday explains how and why death on the island of Utopia has been rationalized. Such radical assumptions about when and how to die diversely shape More’s theories as a utopian thinker, his stance as a statesman, and his convictions as a religious person. Whereas More’s commitment to Catholic doctrine prevailed over his allegiance to the king, he seems to overturn it in Utopia, a country in which euthanasia is highly institutionalized as well as commonly and openly practiced. This article pursues a dual purpose. It explores the ways in which More develops his provocative attitude toward health and death by merging classical notions, early modern re-elaborations, and religious beliefs about acts of self-killing or intentionally ending a life in order to relieve incurable suffering. It situates issues of health and death in More’s Utopia and early modern thought within the contemporary debate on end-of-life decisions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/2365760
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