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Old April 12th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #1
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Describe Machiavelli and the significance of his ideas.


I would like to further expand my limited knowledge about Machiavelli. I am currently reading The Prince, however, I would like to know the historical background, what Machiavelli is renowned for and his overall significance on birth of political science.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #2

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From the relatively little I know of him, he certainly is one of the most influential political philosophers ever. He was basically a strong proponent of realism as opposed to moral idealism in the realm of politics.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 06:12 PM   #3

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This sounds like homework. Before we can help you there are a few rules to be followed. Read them here: Homework Help Policy - Please Read Before Posting Your Question!
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Old April 13th, 2016, 07:52 AM   #4
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Some good introductory reading about Machiavelli's context would be:

The Italian Wars, specifically the 1494-8 invasion of Italy by King Charles VIII of France (see Wikipedia)

Renaissance Florence, with a particular focus on Renaissance Humanism.

And also the specula principum genre of Medieval writing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrors_for_princes
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Old April 13th, 2016, 03:16 PM   #5

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One thing to bear in mind is how short The Prince is compared to his Discourses, about the running of a republic while the former focuses on princedoms/autocracies.

It would reasonable to infer that republics were of far greater interest to Mack than princedoms, even though it is only really The Prince that is read and quoted these days ("Is is better to be feared or love?" "The strength of a lion and the cunning of a fox").

Which may say as much about us as him.

Last edited by Ascendant; April 13th, 2016 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old April 14th, 2016, 11:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascendant View Post
One thing to bear in mind is how short The Prince is compared to his Discourses, about the running of a republic while the former focuses on princedoms/autocracies.

It would reasonable to infer that republics were of far greater interest to Mack than princedoms, even though it is only really The Prince that is read and quoted these days ("Is is better to be feared or love?" "The strength of a lion and the cunning of a fox").

Which may say as much about us as him.
Although Discourses is also a commentary on another text rather than a wholly original work (not unlike Machiavelli's Art of War). There are very few famous commentaries in the canon of global literature. Which is a little unfair since some of the greatest thinkers in history started as commentators on others' works.
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 12:33 AM   #7
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Found this site because of you Niccolo Machiavelli - Online Library of Liberty , lol I looked for the Art of War for over ten years before giving up

Webster Tarpley sums up one answer to your question here
Beyond the Quackademics: Time to Reject the Failed Anglo-Venetian Empiricist-Pragmatist School Based on Aristotle and Sarpi in Favor of the Great Tradition of Plato-Machiavelli-Leibniz and the American System TARPLEY.net

Also a free book here Against Oligarchy TARPLEY.net that one really needs to read to understand the times. Ah if he could just free himself of this love for the popes and their always bad morals/evil morals
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