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Lecture

LECTURE 1.pdf

3 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL200Y1
Professor
Ryan Balot

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pol200 lecture 1 machiavelli was hated and found his teachings rather shocking. though one could argue he is only revealing the secrets of power - which are shocking. to him, politics was the art of power. he rejected classical and medieval theories of nature - and theories about the cosmos. he was an atheist. there was a disconnect between the elaborate ideas of politics than the actual outcome of real power politics. he presented the truth of politics was the effectual truth and the principles that govern political life. he was shocking to his contemporaries simply because the world is not ordered and thats not where we should get our moral ethics from..especially not a god. dedicatory epistle work is dedicated to Lorenzo (the grandson of Lorenzo the magnificent who ruled florence for 33 years..and the Lorenzo in question was made ruler by his uncle the pope..he was a small time ruler with no worthy achievements of his rule). he may have wrote it because he was out of work and wanted to flatter the Lorenzo..but this is hard to believe. arguably there is a mocking tone towards Lorenzo. then why he do it? could be a gift..the greatest gift - because it is a pragmatic book that presents useful knowledge. he wants to point out what actually works via studying the question of what makes for greatness. interestingly, this implies Lorenzo needs advice on what makes rulers great. Lorenzo, as mentioned..was nothing like his grandfather and hence not great at all. thus we can argue that this is the greatest gift..better than the horses and gold. Machiavelli argues he is a man of a humbleness and you need such a man to understand rulers..macheivi is the landscape painter..and he will explain the character of the princes and the lower class. to understand the prince..you need to understand not only the ruler but of those who are ruled. we are the heirs to machevi...one of the first thinkers who emphasizes the political power of the people. don't assume that this makes him a democrat...he only asserts that rulers recognize the power of the people by the rulers. Machiavelli himself understands both high and low, therefore, we’re meant to perceive that machevlli himself is claiming to be a ruler - he has the knowledge. he concludes that he wishes Lorenzo to gain great fortunes and success and most importantly greatness. chapters 1-2 he begins with a taxonomy of principalities. what is the concept of organization? his principle of organization is how these principalities are acquired, or acquisition. inherited kingdoms are easiest to hold onto for they are naturalized. foundation is always a bloody act of violence. kingdoms acquired through inherience acquire it through luck. luck however teaches us nothing. inherited kingdoms are to easy to teach leaders prudence. we do learn something. we learn that inherited principalities because the extinguish memories of their origins (often bloody). perhaps the inherited principalities have nice stories to tell. citizens remember origins and their memories have a lot to do with their legitimacy of their governments. chapters 3-5 acquisition in the form of imperialism. in ch 3
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