Niccolo Machiavelli, Il Principe [The Prince]

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Principe [The Prince]

is the most famous, or infamous, of Machiavelli's writings, in that it is the text which above all others has secured Machiavelli's reputation within the history of ideas as the advocate of a secularised politics emptied of ethical content. Although the term “Machiavellian” is a protean concept, the persistent tendency, which has survived through to the present day, has been to identify Machiavellianism with the expediency and amorality deemed necessary to the exercise of effective politics. The evidence for what might be called this “classic” version of Machiavellianism is the several assertions in

The Prince

which appear to encourage a purely instrumental attitude towards traditional morality. “The fact is”, writes Machiavelli in chapter…

2091 words

Citation: Mousley, Andrew. "Il Principe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

4598 Il Principe 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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