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Introduction to Political Philosophy - Lecture 11

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Lecture 11 - New Modes and Orders: Machiavelli, The Prince II

The discussion of Machiavelli's politics continues in the context of his most famous work, The Prince. A reformer of the moral Christian and classical concepts of goodness and evil, Machiavelli proposes his own definitions of virtue and vice, replacing the vocabulary associated with Plato and the biblical sources. He relates virtue, or virtu, to manliness, force, ambition and the desire to achieve success at all costs. Fortune, or fortuna, is a woman, that must be conquered through policies of force, brutality, and audacity. The problem of "dirty hands" in political and philosophical literature is discussed in detail.

Prof. Steven B. Smith
PLSC 114 Introduction to Political Philosophy, Fall 2006
(Yale University: Open Yale)
Date accessed: 2008-12-29
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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