From Thomas More to Thomas Smith | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 108, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



The emergence of the political sphere as an autonomous domain of human activity is considered to be one of the great achievements of Renaissance philosophy. The complementary autonomy of the economic sphere, however, was also shaping up in the world of philosophical ideas. In this article, I examine how the late medieval notion of moral economy was transformed in the hands of two illustrious representatives of Tudor and Elizabethan political thinking, Thomas More (1478-1535) and Thomas Smith (1513-1577). More specifically, I will show how, at a time of intense economic and social unrest, Smith’s (1549) and (written between 1562 and 1565) recast Morean utopian themes in a distinctively anti-utopian light.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): appetite; cunning; economic change; fear; health; hunger; life and death; political imagination; want
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