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Lecture 1

POL200Y1 Lecture 1: Intro - Machiavelli

Political Science
Course Code
Clifford Orwin

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Faith in progress
Genetic Engineering:
Reports of couples in the future will build their offspring
Are thinkers today still modern? (Study question #1)
Some are modern, others are post-modern
o How to distinguish?
Post-modernism does not go back, always progresses
Takes authority of modernity
Post-modernists claim to represent modern thoughts
Skepticism and Modernity:
Hope is skepticism will pursue good results by pushing away law and just ideas
Both ideas work together
Reasons for Praising Machiavelli:
Italian patriot
Nationalist, realist, pragmatist
Machiavelli is identified as modern by others
His modernity was strange to others who were thought to think a certain way at this time;
misunderstood because he was modern
Regarded as most evil human who ever lived
'The old nick' is the nickname for Satan
Why was he perceived by people of his generation as 'wicked'?
o Looked at as amoral
o Accepted, encouraged, and taught ruthlessness
o People believed his influence was pervasive
o A teacher, a tempter and corrupter
Similar to Satan (corrupter)
Gets you used to doing long tasks
Master of metaphors
Machiavelli's book is dedicated to Lorenzo's grandson
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