Episode #37 – Yorke on the Philosophy of Utopianism

s200_christopher.yorke.jpgIn this episode I talk to Christopher Yorke. Christopher is a PhD candidate at The Open University. He specialises in the philosophical study of utopianism and is currently completing a dissertation titled ‘Bernard Suits’ Utopia of Gameplay: A Critical Analysis’. We talk about all things utopian, including what a ‘utopia’ is, why space exploration is associated with utopian thinking, and whether Bernard Suits’ is correct to say that games are the highest ideal of human existence.


You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:00 – Why did Christopher choose to study utopianism?
  • 6:44 – What is a ‘utopia’? Defining the ideal society
  • 14:00 – Is utopia practically achievable?
  • 19:34 – Why are dystopias easier to imagine that utopias?
  • 23:00 – Blueprints vs Horizons – different understandings of the utopian project
  • 26:40 – What do philosophers bring to the study of utopia?
  • 30:40 – Why is space exploration associated with utopianism?
  • 39:20 – Kant’s Perpetual Peace vs the Final Frontier
  • 47:09 – Suits’s Utopia of Games: What is a game?
  • 53:16 – Is game-playing the highest ideal of human existence?
  • 1:01:15 – What kinds of games will Suits’s utopians play?
  • 1:14:41 – Is a post-instrumentalist society really intelligible?


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