Well-ordered License

Well-ordered License : On the Unity of Machiavelli's Thought

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Interpreters of Machiavelli easily agree that his political writings have profoundly influenced our fundamental ideas of state and society, yet these interpreters rarely agree on what Machiavelli really thought. Did Machiavelli seek to recover classical republicanism in the Aristotelian tradition, or did he aspire to usher in modernity? Was he a cynic who assumed human beings to be inescapably wicked and offered technical advice to tyrants, or did he aim at some version of 'the good life'? Did he create a general theory of politics, or did he teach us that political issues should be approached in a particular contextual, dialectical, or rhetorical manner? Through systematic analysis, Markus Fischer's cogent and articulate study succeeds in resolving these questions. Well-Ordered License will appeal both to new students of Machiavelli and to scholars who have long sought to reconcile the seeming incoherence of his work.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 148 x 230 x 12mm | 322g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739101080
  • 9780739101087

Review quote

A very important study that takes the reader to the heart of Machiavellism... A highly sophisticated ethical awareness pervades Fischer's incisive comments and analysis. -- Anthony J. Parel, University of Calgary This book makes several interesting contributions to our understanding of Machiavelli, and of his place in the intellectual currents of the Renaissance. More than many books on Machiavelli's thought, it shows how the understanding of his historical context can illuminate Machiavelli's own arguments, without dissolving those arguments into that context. -- Steven Forde, University of North Texas Marcus Fischer's important study of Machiavelli's political philosophy addresses a central debate in recent Anglo-American Machiavelli scholarship and proposes a balanced resolution... Fischer reacquaints us with Old Nick in a moderate and unpolemical style and reminds us of the advantages, and riches, of the Biblical and Socratic traditions Machiavelli repudiated. -- Paul Carrese, Airforce Academy The Review Of Politics Markus Fischer has produced an important new interpretation of Machiavelli's corpus. Well-Ordered License makes a persuasive case for the internal coherence of Machiavelli's thought... This book is sure to become a standard work on the topic. -- Cary J. Nederman, University of Arizona
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The World and How We Know It Chapter 3 Human Nature and Action Chapter 4 Political Good and Necessary Evil Chapter 5 Principalities and Republics Chapter 6 Struggle for Empire Chapter 7 Intentions, Insights, and Errors
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About Markus Fischer

Markus Fischer teaches political theory and international relations in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.
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