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Niccolo Machiavelli: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1527) was an Italian politician, diplomat, philosopher, historian, and writer who lived during the Renaissance. He is best known for his political treatise The Prince (Il Principe), written around 1513. See also Power, Governance, Politics, Society, State.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Political Philosophy on Machiavelli - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 355
Machiavelli/Political theories/Whelan: The most prominent interpretation of Machiavelli ' s political theory in recent decades, that associated especially with the work of Skinner and Pocock (1975)(1), has situated it in the civic humanist tradition of Florence and Renaissance Italy more generally and has focused on its republican themes.
>Qu. Skinner
, >J.G.A. Pocock.
Machiavelli's Discourses, his debt to classical theory, his commitments as a citizen, and his experience of the crises that overtook republican regimes in Italy (except in Venice) have been emphasized to the near exclusion of Machiavelli's traditional reputation (Bock, Skinner and Viroli, 1990)(2). However, a recent study largely in this vein also recognizes Machiavelli's practice of the anti-classical and more cynical 'art of the state', a precursor of reason of state teaching (Viroli, 1998)(3).
Historical context: The study of Machiavelli in his historical context requires access to texts of his contemporaries for comparison. A noteworthy contribution here is a new English edition of a work by Guicciardini that contains the first mention of 'reason of state' (Brown, 1994)(4).
Political realism: The more venerable view of Machiavelli as a political realist and an advocate of amoral power politics was reasserted several decades ago by Leo Strauss, who regarded Machiavelli as a key founder of modernity and its problems (...). As such, Machiavelli was shown to have repudiated key elements of the classical and Biblical traditions (including natural law), distorting classic texts for his purposes, sometimes by esoteric methods, in the process.
Mansfield: This reading has been continued, most notably by Harvey C. Mansfield, who has examined Machiavelli's contributions to the modern political science of executive power (Mansfield, 1993)(5) and what is presented as his deliberate and pervasive, if disguised, assault on Christianity and its political teachings (Mansfield, 1996)(6).
Today’s discussion: Two recent studies that fall in neither of these opposing camps are Fischer (1997)(7), who offers a valuable analysis of Machiavelli's psychology, and Coby (1999)(8), who examines Machiavelli's treatment of ancient Rome.
>N. Machiavelli.

1. Pocock, J. G. A. (1975) The Machiavellian Moment: Floæntine Political Thought and the Atlantic Political Tradition. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press.
2. Bock, Gisela, Quentin Skinner and Maurino Viroli, eds (1990) Machiavelli and Republicanism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
3. Viroli, Maurizio (1998) Machiavelli. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
4. Brown, Alison, ed. (1994) Francesco Guicciardini, Dialogue on the Government of Florence. Cambridge: Cambridge Umversity Press.
5. Mansfield, Harvey C., Jr (1993) Taming the Prince: The Ambivalence of Modern Executive Power. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
6. Mansfield, Harvey C. (1996) Machiavelli's Virtue. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
7. Fischer, Markus (1997) 'Machiavelli's political psychology'. Review ofP01itics, 59 (4): 789-829.
8. Coby, Patrick (1999) Machiavelli Romans: Liberty and Gæatness in the Discourses on Livy. Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Whelan, Frederick G. 2004. „Political Theory of the Renaissance and Enlightenment“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Political Philosophy
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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