The Solitude of Machiavelli’s Prince

Philosophia 50 (3):1035-1053 (2022)
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In Machiavelli’s Prince there appears to be a link between Chap.IX on the civil principality and the hope for a unification of Italy by a new prince – a theme presented in the final Exhortation. In both sections, Machiavelli’s unusual lack of historical illustrations suggests the hypothesis that the civil principality and the new prince play a symbolic function. The reading here proposed argues that there is an ideal relation between Machiavelli’s Prince and the Discourses on Livy regarding the opportunity of a regime change from popular principality to Republic. The possibility to switch from one form of government to the other is due to Machiavelli’s idealizations of the civil principality and the new prince. Accordingly, it is argued that Machiavelli’s method follows a strategy of mythologizing realism. In the civil principality the tension between the new prince and his people is not resolved, nor that between the plebs and the nobles. The paper concludes that Machiavelli emphasis on ‘the solitude’ of the prince is what ultimately justifies a transition from the civil principality to the Republic.



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Claudio Corradetti
Luiss Guido Carli (PhD)

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References found in this work

The Prince.Niccolò Machiavelli - 1995 - New York: Humanity Books.
Machiavellian Democracy.John P. McCormick (ed.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
The Foundations of Modern Political Thought.Quentin Skinner - 1978 - Religious Studies 16 (3):375-377.
Machiavelli's God.Maurizio Viroli - 2010 - Princeton University Press.

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