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The Prince and Utopia

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David Hanson

on 12 February 2013

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Transcript of The Prince and Utopia

The Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli Utopia
Thomas More Niccolo Machiavelli Sir Thomas More Humanism Utopia (the work) Utopia is a framed narrative separated into Book I, II
Book I, wherein Thomas More is discussing the political merits of Raphael Hythloday, the just-returned traveler who has witnessed and lived in Utopia.
Book I is also a criticism of the current social and political conditions of 16th century Europe, particularly England
Book II, the actual discourses on Utopia and how this society functions and runs
considered by many to be the first work advocating a communistic society What is Utopia? The commonwealth presented in Utopia is a perfect society where there is almost no crime, there is no private property, and everyone works six hours a today to contribute to the commonwealth
Utopia has all different types of occupations to help contribute, they trade with other nations, gold and silver has no value with them for it is a material object that has no usefulness in the commonwealth
citizens take great pride in learning, slaves are people who have failed to contribute to the commonwealth or prisoners-of-war
the citizens of Utopia hate war, but are the best in the world at it, always prepared to defend the commonwealth
Pride is Raphael and the Utopians think to be the root of so many problems in the world
Has a philosophy of Hedonism
Founder of modern political science and political ethics
Born 1469 in Florence Italy
Historian, politician and statesman
Born in a era of political strife caused by foreign countries invading Italy
"He emancipated politics from theology and moral philosophy."-Joshua Kaplan The Prince The Prince is a political treatise based on historical facts and judgements imparted by Machiavelli
Dedicated to Lorenzo de' Medici of Florence
Written around 1513, but not published until 1535 by permission of pope Clement VII of the Medici family
Written in a genre called the "mirrors for princes"
Idolizes Cesare Borgia as an ideal prince who only faltered due to fortune Felix Gilbert From his essay Fortune, Necessity, and Virtù, Gilbert explains three core values that Machiavelli has laid out in The Prince
"The ideal at which Machiavelli aimed in his recommendations for a perfect republic was the creation of a unified body, which, by acting instinctively, generated the strength, single-minded will power, and vitality necessary for political success. Such a republic possessed virtù."
"To Machiavelli, man is one of the forces of nature and man's strength emerges in accepting his fate."
"The central point of his political philosophy was that man must choose: he could live aside from the stream of politics and follow the dictates of Christian morality; but if man entered upon the vita activa of politics, he must act according to its laws."
Virtù the concept of ability based on martial spirit and the ability of a leader or group
theorized by Machiavelli to encompass the traits needed to maintain a state and "the achievement of great things"
this word is used continually throughout the work in reference to almost all types of situation such as:
"A prince ought also to show himself an admirer of talent [virtù], giving recognition to men of ability [uomini virtuosi]"
Machiavellianism Isiah Berlin English lawyer, statesman, social philosopher, and Renaissance humanist
Born 1478 in London
Devout Catholic who was a recognized patron of the Catholic faith
Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII
Good friend to fellow humanist philosopher Desiderius Erasmus
Beheaded in 1535 for refusing to recognize Henry VIII's second marriage, since it went against papal authority
R.W. Chambers "Utopia has become a text-book for Socialist propaganda."
"Utopia is, in part, a protest against the New Statesmanship: against the new idea of the autocratic prince to whom everything is allowed."
"Parts of Utopia read like a commentary on parts of The Prince...[these] 'progressive' ideas, and we may regard Utopia as a reaction against them."
"...the new age of Machiavellian statesmanship and commercial exploitation, Utopia is old-fashioned"
"...,we find More depicting a State founded on just these things: the common life, based on religion; honour given to manual labour; intellectual and artistic culture." Russell Ames C.S. Lewis More was a Renaissance humanist who deplored the current educational structure and the current outlook of society at his time
Uses reason, ethics, and justice to define the morality of the society, not religion
Utopia is based on a religious humanism where the society is still based on human needs, interests and abilities, but allows for the rituals and worship of religion if it does not directly contradict rational thought
"There is a cause specially predisposing [modern readers] to error in such a matter. They live in a revolutionary age, an age in which modern weapons and the modern revolutionary technique have made it only too easy to produce in the real world states recognizably like those we invent on paper: writing Utopias is now a serious matter."
"...[Utopia] has no place in the history of political philosophy: in the history of prose fiction it has a very high place indeed."
"There is a serious thought running through [Book I]...But he does not keep our noses to the grindstone. He says many things for the fun of them, surrendering himself to the sheer pleasure of imagined geography, language and institutions." "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct"
St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre is attributed to the rise of Machiavelliansm
blamed for rise of dictators and strong kings in the centuries following A Classic? Both The Prince and Utopia have been extremely influential on the political and philosophical thought of the modern world.
All modern utopias are based on the premise of Utopia
The Prince and Machiavellianism has been attributed to much oppression by kings and dictators
Full transcript