Lecture 11 - New Modes and Orders: Machiavelli, The Prince (chaps. 13-26)

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: October 2006,   views: 4615
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The discussion of Machiavelli's politics continues in the context of his most famous work, The Prince. A reformer of the moral Christian and classical concepts of goodness and evil, Machiavelli proposes his own definitions of virtue and vice, replacing the vocabulary associated with Plato and the biblical sources. He relates virtue, or virtu, to manliness, force, ambition and the desire to achieve success at all costs. Fortune, or fortuna, is a woman, that must be conquered through policies of force, brutality, and audacity. The problem of "dirty hands" in political and philosophical literature is discussed in detail.

Reading assignment:

Machiavelli, The Prince, chapters 13-26

Resources: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott Courtesy of the University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection

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