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Lecture

Machiavelli, The Prince: Chapters 9-14

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL200Y1
Professor
Clifford Orwin
Semester
Winter

Description
stPOL200Y1 Visions of the JustGood Society February 1 2012Machiavelli The Prince Chapters 914 On Chapter Eight According to Chapter One of The Prince all principalities are acquired by either virtue or fortuneAt the beginning of Chapter Eight however Machiavelli suggests that in Chapters Eight and Nine well encounter kinds of principalities acquired by neither virtue nor fortuneWhat has happened hereDid Machiavelli change his mind while he was writing his book or remember something that he had forgotten but was too lazy or careless to return to correct Chapter One Machiavelli offers Agathocles as the poster boy for all who have ascended to a principality through crime rather than through virtue Yet the central question of the chapter proves to be that of Agathocles virtue Was Agathocles virtuous or wasnt heWhy cant Machiavelli get his story straight Remember when you take the lesson of Moses from last class you lose real morality Therefore virtue remains to be only defined as being good at whatever were talking about namely making and keeping nations The simplest way to criticize Agathocles is to say all he did was WRONG But Machiavelli doesnt say that but says simply that his actions didnt give him the respect honor of people after him Compare Agathocles to other revolutionary leaders king etc They committed the same crimes What leader hasnt killed stolen lied etc etcThe only difference is that the prophets had something that just appealed honorable and less criminal they had a good story Agathocles just came off as a dick Thats the only difference In Chapter 8 Machiavelli has considered the most infamous way of coming to power through crime In Chapter 9 he considers the most respectable way to do so through election by ones fellow citizens See if you can state the difference between coming to power through crime and doing so through Machiavellis recommended means of gaining electionIn Chapter 9 Machiavelli brings a new factor and a new actor onto the stage of the Prince the people What is this people and what does it want How would you compare its desires to those of the opposing faction the great Does Machiavelli present the people as morally superior to the grabby greatNo thinker we studied so far has based their political theory on upheaval of a state They recognized upheaval but did not make it the standard All the ancient political theorists we studied had lofty political goals and that politics should aim high
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