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Machiavelli I – S.P.Q.F. (Begins Machiavelli Series)

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  1. skybrian
    From the article: [...]

    From the article:

    [T]he [question] which I am always happiest to get, and which I get delightfully often, is “So, why is Machiavelli really so important?” Now, I read The Prince in school, and remembered ideas including the stock “It is better to be feared than loved,” and “The ends justify the means,” but I also remember having no idea then why Machiavelli was a big name. I’m pretty sure my teacher didn’t really know either. In fact, most introductions to the works of Machiavelli that I’ve read didn’t even manage to make it clear. After ten years as a specialist in the Renaissance, I think I can finally explain why.


    Machiavelli made two big, big breakthroughs. If I treat each in turn, with the proper historical context, I think I can make Machiavelli make sense.

    • Machiavelli, founder of Modern Political Science and History.
    • Machiavelli, founder of Utilitarianism/Consequentialist ethics.

    The latter issue is where Machiavelli picks up such titles as Arch-Heretic, Anti-Pope, and Destroyer of Italy (also father of modern cultural analysis and religious studies). The former, however, is even more universal in its penetration into modern thought.

    2 votes