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Boston College
PHIL 1070
Robert Mc Gill

 Machiavelli liked to describe reality (My intention is to write something of use for many have imagined republics…)  “It is necessary for a prince to learn how not to be good.” –Authority of the time was still the Catholic church.  Virtue = Virility – courage, bravery, “manly” qualities, etc  Born in Florence, became a senior bureaucratic administrator (sec. of state) for 14 years  Lost position in 1512 because of external circumstances o Pope in Rome & French went to war & Pope won but Florence had sided with the French (didn’t actually participate) o So when French defeated, Pope had prerogative to change system in Florence (loosely, a republic) to a dictatorship  Lorenzo d’Medici (& family) was put into power basically as favor for wealth & donation  Machiavelli decides to advise Medici by writing The Prince in 1513 as a guide for how to lead the country  Written as a private letter, but Medici distanced himself from Machiavelli  People appalled by The Prince  1527 Machiavelli wrote another letter to Supreme Council begging to be restored to previous position but before receiving reply (NO), he died  The Prince refutes the Church & Pope b/c felt they were playing wrong role & being hypocritical & teaching to be pious and malleable to authority  Martin Luther 1517  “Every action is designed in terms of the end which it seeks to achieve.” (Ends justify means)  Machiavelli sought a republic in which ruler would also live under law  Only one “end” that justifies the means (only one situation the Prince
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