Sep. 12, 2013
What does it mean to question modernity?
It means to question the underlying faith, or namely progress.
Modernity is a process, a direction, a way. Modernity always radicalizes itself and is a
Everyone shared the faith that modern was better.
After the Cold war, it was suggested that the whole world would move in a liberal
This however did not happen, and we now question whether OUR way is THE way.
Science and Technology
• The extinction of our species at the hands of technology.
• Continual threat of nuclear and weapons of mass destruction
• Genetic engineering
• Yes we still crave further progress in science, but we have also learned to fear it.
• It seems reasonable to reexamine the faith in progress and with it modernity. We
thereby challenge the view that our modern views are more validated than of pre
• The traditional old fashioned view of Machiavelli
• Big theme of “evil” in his writings
• Nothing is more evil than to spread evil by teaching it to others
• Traditional view of Machiavelli was on his tomb “For so great a name, no eulogy
can suffice”. Machiavelli was revered in Italy because he was known as the father
of nationalism in Italy.
• Machiavelli is a truth teller and a liberator. He was not evil, but rather he was one
of the great founders of modern thought.
• A devious book would look conventional/innocent. Books in those days had a
dedicatory letter to the patron.
• In what capacity does Machiavelli approach Lorenzo (the patron)?
▯Machiavelli presents himself as a job seeker and flatters Lorenzo. Far from being
flattered, Machiavelli’s letter may actually be insulting since h