In his early works Owen argues that, since individuals are wholly formed by their environment, education is the crucial factor in transforming them. Later he came to adopt far more radical positions, proposing nothing less than 'the emancipation ofmankind' and the creation of a 'new moral world', a full-scale reorganization of British society, major reforms of working practices and the Poor Laws and the establishment of co-operative model.
Gregory Claeys is Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of eight books, including Searching for Utopia, and editor of some fifty volumes, mostly of primary sources. His chief interests are in the history of socialism and utopianism.