Download e-book for iPad: The Machiavellian Legacy: Essays in Italian Political by Joseph V. Femia

By Joseph V. Femia

ISBN-10: 0230379923

ISBN-13: 9780230379923

ISBN-10: 1349401064

ISBN-13: 9781349401062

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Machiavelli, to Burnham, categorically rejected the type of theory that was simply the elaborate projection of wish fulfilment. 99 By the middle of the twentieth century, the elevation of Machiavelli to the same scientific status as Galileo had become a familiar theme among scholars of positivist persuasion. In the opinion of Ernst Cassirer, the supposed prophet of evil 'studied political actions in the same way as a chemist studies chemical reactions ... '100 Leonardo Olschki supported Cassirer's argument, claiming that Machiavelli, to a far greater extent than any of his contemporaries (including Leonardo da Vinci), possessed a refined scientific instinct.

That is to say, the 30 The Machiavellian Legacy motions of history as well as of states are subject to the motions of the heavens. Moreover, the celestial intelligences that guide the heavens love to tease or perhaps forewarn men about grave events through revelations, prodigies, and other astral signs. 111 But, in the opinion of Joseph Kraft, 'Machiavelli's daylight world was by no means ghostless'. 112 To the critics, then, Machiavelli did not take hold of political theory and transport it from speculative realms to a region of empirical observation.

In Machiavelli, as in Leonardo and (indeed) Copernicus, the nature of scientific method is not fully understood; some pre-scientific notions, held over from medieval and ancient metaphysics and theology, are retained. Copernicus himself still thought that the planets must move in circular orbits around the sun because a perfect God would have created none but perfect motion in a circle for the heavenly bodies. 114 In any case, Parel exaggerates the significance of Machiavelli's leanings towards astrology.

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The Machiavellian Legacy: Essays in Italian Political Thought by Joseph V. Femia

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