A Critical Interpretation of Leo Strauss’ Thoughts on Machiavelli

37 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2013

Date Written: May 20, 2013


Strauss’s analysis of Machiavelli is both about his argument and action. Strauss looked Machiavelli’s argument through the lens of classical political philosophy especially Plato’s political philosophy. He believed Machiavelli had not achieved important theoretical innovation. He looked Machiavelli’s action through the lens of modernity. He believed Machiavelli’s political thought could not perform a good function any more as it did in the past several centuries. Moreover, Strauss supplemented Machiavelli’s political thought with a discussion of the problem of technique. Strauss’s caution of the technical innovation makes sense, but his distinction between theoretical science and technique is not convincing.

Keywords: Leo Strauss; Machiavelli; Classical Political Philosophy; Modernity

Suggested Citation

Guodong, Zhang, A Critical Interpretation of Leo Strauss’ Thoughts on Machiavelli (May 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2346298 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2346298

Zhang Guodong (Contact Author)

Fujian Jiangxia University ( email )

No. 2 Xiyuangong Road
University Town
Fuzhou, 350108

HOME PAGE: http://www.fjjxu.edu.cn/

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