Machiavelli is traditionally understood has a thinker who rejected Platonism in bulk. This book argues that even if it is correct to describe him as unsympathetic to Platonic thought, his philosophy addresses it in a deep and nuanced manner. In order to see this, one must first disentangle Machiavelli’s conversation with Plato from his criticism of Christian Florentine Neoplatonism. Once this is done, Machiavelli’s work reveals itself to engage key Platonic themes, such as love, the place of philosophical education in politics, and the relationship between policymaking and mythmaking. This engagement helps us further characterize and clarify essential concepts and axioms of Machiavellian thought, such as fortúna, virtue, the importance of self-reliance, and the proper sources of political knowledge.
Guillaume Bogiaris is assistant professor of political science and philosophy at the University of West Alabama.
Chapter One – Machiavelli, Florentine Neoplatonism, and the Medici
Chapter Two – Machiavelli’s Critique of Diotima’s Eros
Chapter Three – Myths and Policymaking in Machiavelli and Plato
Chapter Four - Hunting, History and Philosophy in Machiavelli's Princely Education
“Bogiaris’ enjoyable book offers a compelling and succinct account of the contentious interpretation that Machiavelli’s ‘effectual truth’ aimed to destroy the Renaissance Neoplatonism’s Plato, but not Plato’s political philosophy in general. It is grounded in primary sources and in careful dialogue with the wide world of Machiavellian scholarship. Highly recommended.”
“Bogiaris addresses an important and underrepresented area of Machiavelli studies, offering a compelling picture of Machiavelli’s engagement with Greek thought, including a number of helpful insights.”