Machiavelli’s Critique of Classical Philosophy and His Case for The Political Life
This article illuminates how Machiavelli’s critique of classical philosophy is fundamental to his teaching. It will argue that Machiavelli criticized classical philosophy for its ineffectiveness and its endorsement of the leisurely philosophic life as the best way of life. In contrast, Machiavelli’s optimistic depiction of the scope of human power in controlling chance and his critique of the life of contemplation promote his new understanding of the best life, in which political life and its glory occupy the highest rank. I will then contend that in Machiavelli’s writings there is a coherent and powerful defense of the political life as the alternative for the philosophical life of contemplation.
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