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Machiavelli and Hobbes on Power and Political Authority
Jane Jaquette, Politics Department, Occidental College
Piano Lounge, Graham House, Green College, UBC
October 24 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

The popular perception of Machiavelli is that he is the sign of evil, and scholars have blamed him for abandoning the classical virtues and letting loose the evils particular to modernity: hyperindividualism, ruthless competition, the use of propaganda and violence to govern. Jane Jaquette’s reading of Machiavelli is both feminist and revisionist. She presents Machiavelli in a different way and asks if we can understand him as a virtue theorist (as well as a theorist of virtú) by looking at his writing through the lens of phronesis. She concludes that doing so opens a new way to think about Machiavelli’s intentions and suggests a greater appreciation of his method. She will also show why some important questions remain, not only concerning the consequences of Machiavelli’s political views, but also about the limits of phronesis as a prescription for our contemporary ills.
 

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