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Machiavelli’s Ambush: perspectives in an age of conspiracy
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Urban Planing and Development.
2023 (English)In: Inquiry, ISSN 0020-174X, E-ISSN 1502-3923, p. 1-34Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this essay I revisit The Prince and the Discourses and argue that across the design of these two texts on the theme of conspiracy Machiavelli constructs an ambush on Medici princes. I reconsider Mary Dietz’s (1986), and Langton’s and Dietz’s (1987) suggestion that Machiavelli’s The Prince was a deceptive political act through an exploration of the link Dietz and Sheldon Wolin (2004) draw between Machiavelli’s method and Renaissance artistry. I suggest that Machiavelli applied a one-point linear perspective – a scientific and visual method of pictorial representation and geometrical modelling that emerged for the first time in the Renaissance – to the political field. I test this hypothesis on the theme of conspiracy in Machiavelli’s work by arguing that The Prince ultimately presents one vantage point – that of the prince–while the Discourses offers another – that of the conspirators. I argue that a blindspot is created by these two texts when they are jointly considered: conspirators seduced, recruited, and trained by the Discourses eliminate a prince caught off guard for having followed the advice on conspiracy in The Prince.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. p. 1-34
Keywords [en]
Machiavelli; linear perspective; Renaissance artistry; conspiracy;The Prince; theDiscourses
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20711DOI: 10.1080/0020174X.2023.2213732ISI: :001039435900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85166420479OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20711DiVA, id: diva2:1822854
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CC-BY 4.0

Available from: 2023-12-28 Created: 2023-12-28 Last updated: 2024-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Dahlquist, Karl

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