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LUCK AND CHARACTER IN MACHIAVELLI'S POLITICAL THOUGHT

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Is Machiavelli's virtuoso responsible for his character? A number of scholarly authorities insist that Machiavelli ascribes to the man of 'virtue' the capacity to shape both his own nature and those of his fellows freely and at will. Putting this claim to the test, I show that even a virtuous character is, in Machiavelli's own view, internally vulnerable to fortune. At the same time, Machiavelli argues that the experience of serious misfortune can, paradoxically, push the princely individual, and a republic led by such individuals, to develop virtue
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Keywords: Camillus; Discourses; Hobbes; Machiavelli; Stoicism; accident; chance; character; contingency; education; fortuna; fortune; luck; prince; prudence; republicanism; succession; virtue

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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