ISBN-10:
9004176500
ISBN-13:
9789004176508
Pub. Date:
06/30/2009
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Politics and Philosophy: Niccolo Machiavelli and Louis Althusser's Aleatory Materialism

Politics and Philosophy: Niccolo Machiavelli and Louis Althusser's Aleatory Materialism

by Mikko Lahtinen
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789004176508
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/30/2009
Series: Historical Materialism Book Series , #23
Pages: 327
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mikko Lahtinen, Soc.Sc.D. (1997) in Political Science, University of Tampere (Finland), Ph.D. (2006) in History of Ideas, University of Oulu (Finland), is Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Tampere. He has published widely on the history of political philosophy and on political theory.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Author's Preface to the English Edition xi

Chapter 1 Introductory Comments 1

1.1 Althusser, Machiavelli and political theory 1

1.2 Althusser's contribution to Machiavelli scholarship 9

1.2.1 The general and the particular 9

1.2.2 The political praxis of a prince 10

1.2.3 Aleatory dynamics 11

1.2.4 'Verità effettuale della cosa' - 'The effective truth' 13

1.2.5 Morals and politics 14

1.2.6 Materialist political theory 15

1.3 The approach of the present study 16

Chapter 2 A Critique of Hegelianism 19

2.1 A critique of Hegelian dialectics 20

2.2 Althusser's Marxism 30

2.2.1 Overdetermination and underdetermination 33

The 'morphology' of the over- and underdetermination of contradictions 36

The reality of contradictions 41

Displacements and condensations in ideological apparatuses - ideological apparatuses as the displacements and condensations of contradictions 43

The metaphoric nature of the topographic 49

Russia 1917 55

2.2.2 Summary: complexity and chaos 59

2.2.3 Engels and individual will 63

The individual will 66

2.3 Althussef's self-criticism 72

2.3.1 Elliott's theoreticist interpretation of Althusser 81

2.4 The 'Machiavellian' Lenin 83

2.4.1 Towards a theoreticisation of practice 87

Chapter 3 Aleatory Materialism 89

3.1 Prologue: Machiavelli's solitude 89

3.2 The underground current of the materialism of the encounter 95

3.2.1 Law 100

3.2.2 Surprises 104

Chapter 4 Althusser's Aleatory Machiavelli 109

4.1 A preliminary schema: the two dimensions of Machiavelli's differentiae specificae 109

4.1.1 'Theoretical' differentia specifica 110

4.1.2 'Political' differentia specifica 111

4.2 Machiavelli's differentia specifica in the history of political thought 113

4.2.1 Machiavelli - Montesquieu - Aristotle 115

4.3 The praxis of The Prince: the text as a political act 125

4.3.1 Machiavelli's utopianism 136

4.4 The praxis of the prince: the aleatory truth 139

4.4.1 The aleatory of the 'subjective' and 'objective' 144

The man of action and his case 157

4.4.2 Beyond the aleatory of the 'subjective' and 'objective' 162

4.5 The praxis of the prince: the project and strategy of the new prince 171

4.5.1 Machiavelli and Polybius 172

4.5.2 The conditions for the political project and strategy of the new prince 178

4.5.3 The lawless hero 183

4.5.4 A popular ideological figure 187

The instinct of the fox 187

Displacements and condensations 197

4.5.5 The dialectic of the interests of the prince and the people 200

4.5.6 The state and the law 205

4.6 Epilogue: Althusser's interpretation of Machiavelli 212

Chapter 5 The Subversive Machiavelli 215

5.1 The art of war and the art of politics 215

5.2 The destructive current of fortuna 223

5.2.1 The actor's prudence 240

5.3 The aspects of fortuna 242

5.3.1 Kronos and Kairos 252

5.4 Lady Fortuna and the young men 253

5.5 The rise and fall of Cesare Borgia 256

5.5.1 Cesare's misfortune 262

5.6 'A stable people' 265

5.6.1 'A people' and a 'nation' in the context and terminology of the early cinquecento 274

5.6.2 Machiavelli in the Florentine context 281

Class position and ambitions 285

5.6.3 'Utopian'texts 290

Nazione and Machiavelli 297

5.7 Epilogue: Machiavelli and the taming of chance 302

Chapter 6 Conclusion 307

References 313

Index 323

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