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Timo Airaksinen

Machiavelli explains the success of princes by referring to their virtú, or prowess which overcomes the vagaries of fortune. I pay attention to the meaning of virtú, which some commentators claim to be a clear and understandable term while others deny this. If virtú is defined in terms of fortune, we have reasons to be skeptical. The problem is that fortune is a concept of many meanings in The Prince. Some of these are mythological, such as the goddess Fortune and fortune as a woman. Machiavelli seems to use the concept of fortune in four different ways: resource, fate or destiny, chance, and uncertainty. I will provide evidence for this thesis as I analyze these ideas and try to relate them to each other. The Prince is a conceptually loose treatise.

Timo Airaksinen

Series:

Timo Airaksinen

Vagaries of Desire is a major collection of new essays by Timo Airaksinen on the philosophy of desire. The first part develops a novel account of the philosophical theory of desire, including Girard. The second part discusses Kafka’s main works, namely The Castle, The Trial, and Amerika, and Thomas Hobbes and the problems of intentionality. The text develops such linguistic tropes as metaphor and metonymy in connection with topics like death and then applies them to Kafka’s texts. The third part makes an effort to understand the mysteries of sadism and masochism in philosophical and rhetorical terms. The last article criticizes Thomas Nagel’s influential account of sexual perversion and develops a viable alternative.