PSCI 110 Lecture 9: Note 9

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17.03. Introduction to Political Thought
Lecture Outline: Machiavelli, Discourses, Bk I, chs. 6-12, 16-18, 55, 58;
Bk II, Intro and chs. 1-2; Bk III, chs. 1, 40-41
I. Religion
A. Religion of the Romans essential to its success
B. Machiavelli’s critique of the Church
C. Civil religion: religious means for secular ends
II. The people
A. “Humors”/motives of human beings
B. People v. nobles
C. How a prince can win over the people
D. People v. prince (Bk I, ch. 58)
III. Relationship between customs and laws
A. If a city is corrupt, good laws are not enough to save it
1. Need for new institutions but necessary reforms nearly impossible in corrupt cities
2. Only remedy is a prince who uses “extraordinary measures”
B. City characterized by equality suited for republics
IV. The case for republics
A. Devotion to the common good ~ republican government ~ glory
B. People better safeguard liberty than the prince
C. People together make better judgments than the prince
D. Role of conflict in preserving liberty (people v. nobles)
E. Collective autonomy
F. The expansionist Roman republic as the model
1. How acquired—through virtù or Fortuna?
2. Greatness but eventually corruption and decay
3. Need for innovation, need for another founder
G. Why case for republics presented as commentary of Livy’s history of Rome
V. Relationship between The Prince and Discourses
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