Philosophy Series Talk: Machiavelli’s Sacrificial Politics

Machiavelli is one of the most infamous philosophers in history, and his name has become a byword for manipulation, dishonesty and violence. Recent scholarship has questioned this reputation and claimed Machiavelli as a Florentine patriot and theorist of republican (as opposed to monarchical or aristocratic) governments. In this talk I will show how these two readings can be reconciled via a distinction (drawn from Rene Girard’s theory of sacrifice) between good and bad forms of violence; I will explain how this distinction operates in Machiavelli’s philosophy, and use it to interpret three important aspects of The Prince: the discussion of founders as armed prophets, the taming of the Romagna by Cesare Borgia, and the distinction between two forms of cruelty.

By Dr. Brian Harding, TWU

Date: Friday, October 18, 2019

Location: Talbot Hall Theater (second floor)

Time: 2 p.m.

This talk is part of the Psychology and Special Education Departmental Speaker Series

Friday, October 18, 2019

Talbot Hall of Languages, Second Floor Auditorium
1601 Education Dr., Commerce, TX 75428

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