The Radical Machiavelli

Politics, Philosophy, and Language


In The Radical Machiavelli: Politics, Philosophy and Language, some of the finest Machiavellian scholars explore the Florentine’s thought five hundred years after the composition of his masterpiece, The Prince. Their analysis, however, goes past The Prince, extending to Machiavelli’s entire corpus and shining new light on his political, historical, and military works, with a special focus on their heritage in modern Marxist thought, the arena in which they reverberate most profoundly and originally.

Rather than a neutral, comprehensive, and safe interpretation, this book offers a partial and even partisan reading of Machiavelli, the 16th-century thinker who continues to divide scholars and interpreters, forcing them to confront their responsibility as contemporary thinkers in a global society where Machiavelli's ideas and the issues they address still matter.

Contributors are: Etienne Balibar, Banu Bargu, Jérémie Barthas, Thomas Berns, Alison Brown, Filippo Del Lucchese, Romain Descendre, Jean-Louis Fournel, Fabio Frosini, Giorgio Inglese, Mikko Lahtinen, Jacques Lezra, John P. McCormick, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Mohamed Moulfi, Gabriele Pedullà, Tania Rispoli, Peter D. Thomas, Sebastian Torres, Miguel Vatter, Stefano Visentin, Yves Winter, and Jean-Claude Zancarini.

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Biographical Note

Filippo Del Lucchese is senior lecturer in History of Political Thought at Brunel University, London, senior research associate, University of Johannesburg, and chair at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. His research interests are in the early modern period (from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment), history of philosophy and Marxism.

Fabio Frosini is a lecturer in the History of Philosophy at the University of Urbino. His research interests include Renaissance philosophy and culture, Marxist thought, and political philosophy. His most recent books are Da Gramsci a Marx: Ideologia, verità e politica (DeriveApprodi, 2009), La religione dell’uomo moderno: Verità e politica nei Quaderni del carcere di Antonio Gramsci (Carocci, 2010) and Vita, tempo e linguaggio (1508–1510): Lettura Vinciana (Giunti , 2011).

Vittorio Morfino is a lecturer in the History of Philosophy at the Università di Milano-Bicocca and has been visiting professor at the USP (São Paulo) and at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is the author of Il tempo e l'occasione: L’incontro Spinoza Machiavelli (LED, 2002, Paris 2012), Incursioni spinoziste (Mimesis, 2002) as well as recently published the English volume, Plural Temporality: Transindividuality and the Aleatory between Spinoza and Althusser (Brill, 2014).

Review Quotes

"These papers cohere very well, often speaking to each other and sometimes disagreeing. They underscore the truism that The Prince remains a battlefield and that no consensus on it is likely ever to be reached. But these papers, with their carefully constructed arguments, extensive documentation, and nuanced evaluations, as well as their forty-seven pages of bibliography, do much to clear away old smoke."
- John H. Geerken (Scripps College, emeritus), in Renaissance Quarterly, vol. LXX, no. 2 (summer 2017)

Table of contents

List of Figures viii
List of Contributors ix
Introduction 1

Part 1: Language, Text and Context of The Prince

1 Il genere e il tempo delle parole: dire la guerra nei testi machiavelliani 23
Jean-Louis Fournel

2 ‘Uno piccolo dono’: A Software Tool for Comparing the First Edition of Machiavelli’s The Prince to Its Sixteenth Century French Translations 39
Jean-Claude Zancarini

3 Of ‘Extravagant’ Writing: The Prince, Chapter IX 56
Romain Descendre

4 ‘Italia’ come spazio politico in Machiavelli 73
Giorgio Inglese

5 Machiavelli the Tactician: Math, Graphs, and Knots in The Art of War 81
Gabriele Pedulla

Part 2: Machiavelli and Philosophy

6 Lucretian Naturalism and the Evolution of Machiavelli’s Ethics 105
Alison Brown

7 Corpora Caeca : Discontinuous Sovereignty in The Prince 128
Jacques Lezra

8 The Five Theses of Machiavelli’s ‘Philosophy’ 144
Vittorio Morfijino

9 Tempo e politica: Una lettura materialista di Machiavelli 174
Sebastian Torres

10 Imitation and Animality: On the Relationship between Nature and History in Chapter XVIII of The Prince 190
Tania Rispoli

Part 3: Politics, Religion, and Prophecy

11 Prophetic Efficacy: The Relationship between Force and Belief 207
Thomas Berns

12 Prophecy, Education, and Necessity: Girolamo Savonarola between Politics and Religion 219
Fabio Frosini

13 ‘Uno Mero Esecutore’: Moses, Fortuna, and Occasione in The Prince 237
Warren Montag

14 Machiavelli and the Republican Conception of Providence 250
Miguel Vatter

Part 4: Radical Democracy beyond Republicanism

15 Machiavelli, Public Debt, and the Origin of Political Economy: An Introduction 273
Jeremie Barthas

16 Plebeian Politics: Machiavelli and the Ciompi Uprising 306
Yves Winter

17 Machiavelli’s Greek Tyrant as Republican Reformer 337
John P. McCormick

18 Essere Principe, Essere Populare: The Principle of Antagonism in Machiavelli’s Epistemology 349
Etienne Balibar

19 The Different Faces of the People: On Machiavelli’s Political Topography 368
Stefano Visentin

Part 5: Machiavelli and Marxism

20 Machiavelli Was Not a Republicanist – Or Monarchist: On Louis Althusser’s ‘Aleatory’ Interpretation of The Prince 393
Mikko Lahtinen

21 Lectures machiavéliennes d’Althusser 406
Mohamed Moulfiji

22 Machiavelli after Althusser 420
Banu Bargu

23 Gramsci’s Machiavellian Metaphor: Restaging The Prince 440
Peter D. Thomas

Index 457


All interested in Machiavelli’s thought, history of political thought, and Marxism, political theory, early modern history and the Renaissance, particularly MA and advanced BA students, PhD and post-doc students, as well as scholars.

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