A trace of equity in Utopia? On Raphael's reformulation of classical equity
Author(s)Karlin, Louis W.
Contributor(s)Teti, Jordan D.
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractEquity, a fertile concept for understanding justice in More's time, has its origins in Greek and Roman philosophy. As the putative emissary of Greek (and Ciceronian) philosophy in More's Utopia, it is thus fitting that Raphael Hythloday expressly acknowledges classical sources in his references to equity, such as in his allusion to the leaden rule of Aristotle and his paraphrase of Cicero's famous epigram, summum ius, summa iniuria. In substance, however, Raphael's understanding of equity differs from that of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. For example, while classical thinkers sought flexibility in the application of written law so as to accord with a higher justice (as in the leaden rule ), Raphael rejects such impure flexibility. Also, Utopia, itself, a land with few laws and fewer lawyers, lacks equity as it was traditionally understood that is, as a justice-facilitating corrective to the imprecision of written law. Nevertheless, Raphael emotionally concludes Book Two by apparently praising the ...
Copyright/LicenseAll rights reserved