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Maurizio Viroli

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198780885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198780885.001.0001

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Machiavelli's Philosophy of Life

Machiavelli's Philosophy of Life

(p.11) 1 Machiavelli's Philosophy of Life

Maurizio Viroli

Oxford University Press

This chapter tries to explain Machiavelli's philosophy of life from many angles, such as poverty, hardship and other miseries of the human condition, and the concept of God, irony, and love. It summarizes The Prince, his first work after losing his post as Secretario, as his knowledge of the conduct of great men, learned through long experience of modern affairs and continual study of ancient history. The chapter discusses why war is the greatest evil that affects the human condition as formulated in Machiavelli's Of the Blessed Spirits. It also gives glimpses into his cyclical views of heaven and punishment as well as the idea of a political God, and explains in great detail his thoughts about love, women, and pain. The chapter also characterizes Machiavelli's notions on politics. He compared a great republic to a tree that is supposed to offer protection and solace to all, regardless of what they do under its shade.

Keywords:   philosophy, life, love, God, politics, women, heaven

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