Machiavelli and a Sixteenth Century Republican Theory of Liberty

Title: Machiavelli and a Sixteenth Century Republican Theory of Liberty
Authors: Dumais, Charles
Date: 2012
Abstract: In the following thesis, I argue that to contextualize Machiavelli’s republican thought in his Italian humanist heritage permits us to understand how Machiavelli reaches back not only to an Italian pre-humanist inheritance of liberty as freedom from servitude, but to a Stoic conception of agency which he inherits and shapes in that concept of liberty. While my analysis of Machiavelli and his humanist heritage is in fundamental agreement with that of Quentin Skinner in The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, it develops however the implications of two theses that Paul O. Kristeller outlines in his works on Italian humanism: the eclectic nature of humanist ideas and their rhetorical focus. From this I draw a slightly different picture of the humanist heritage and its polemics with Augustine, and from these an understanding about Stoic agency and how it is inherited and shaped in Machiavelli’s conception of the citizen and civic duties.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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