Interpreting Modern Political Philosophy: From Machiavelli by Alistair and Townshend, Jules Edwards

By Alistair and Townshend, Jules Edwards

The interpretive literature within the historical past of political proposal is now significant, advanced, and esoteric, posing as a lot a barrier to the knowledge of scholars because it deals suggestions. This precise and cutting edge textual content offers a necessary consultant to the foremost positions and debates that encompass the texts of key thinkers. It analyzes significant difficulties of examining them, examines the resources of war of words, and evaluates different interpretations when it comes to their strengths, weaknesses, and contributions to scholarship.

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At worst, Machiavelli’s technique does not constitute a method at all and his induction is a spurious procedure. The essence of induction is that a conclusion should emerge from a sifting through sources, but Machiavelli imposes conclusions on evidence, fails to take account of completing theories and examples which would invalidate his theory and misinterprets or even falsifies sources when they do not fit his preconceptions. Anglo concludes that Machiavelli is not a scientist, but an artist whose perceptions and disturbing insights were intuitive rather than the result of the application of any scientific method.

What nature has failed directly to provide, man must create. , pp. 91–111). Of course, it is not quite so simple. For these obligations to protect individuals there must be general obedience to the agreed limits. The man who fails to grasp this will be easy prey for those who see that the maximum advantage can be gained where they continue to act completely free from constraint while others limit their actions. Here lies the problem: if there are no natural limits, then there are no natural reasons for abiding by artificial agreements.

Machiavelli advocated ruthless strategies not to secure and preserve power in a vacuum or to achieve political success per se. The point was to create and maintain a strong state, the moral purpose of which was to secure the good of the whole community. If Machiavelli described the world as it is, he did not accept it. The point was to change it for the better. He called for a regeneration of his own society and advocated a republican order where civic virtue, liberty, personal security and co-operation for the common good could be realised.

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