Sunday, December 8, 2013

Plato, Aristotle, & Machiavelli

MSI writes:
I made a similar claim in my general exams and was given the question, "And would you say that Machiavelli was an Aristotelian or a Platonist?" What would you say?

FLG's knee jerk reaction is that since he believes Machiavelli is the root of modern science and empiricism, Machiavelli would most definitely be an Aristotelian.  BUT...FLG vaguely remembers Machiavelli drawing a sharp distinction between himself and Aristotle on some issue.  Although, he could be remembering that.  In either case, FLG needs to think about this more.  


Miss Self-Important said...

Yes, this is the difficulty. Aristotle is interested in what is done and what is believed by the many, but he still reasons about the "real" with a view to the ideal - the best regime in Bk 7 of the Politics, the completely virtuous man in the Ethics. He does not begin from what is lowest in us and settle for that like NM.

Withywindle said...

I would have said Machiavelli is an Aristotelian, in the Aristotle/Plato divide, but that what's most interesting about him is what he does with the Aristotelian inheritance, developing thought that in certain aspects separates him from both Aristotle and Plato.

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