Citation

Machiavelli's Ironies

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Abstract:

Machiavelli's works are usually read at face value as offering judgements
expressed in a direct, unambiguous, if sometimes shocking way. This talk
outlines strong reasons (set out in my book Machiavelli's Ethics) for
thinking that Machiavelli writes ironically: that is, that he uses a range of
techniques to hint at incongruities between his most apparent meanings and
others that are less striking or explicit. These methods are most readily
recognised if we compare Machiavelli's discussions of certain themes with
those of Greek authors who used similar devices to signal meanings behind the
surface of their texts. While my approach has similarities to Leo Strauss'
"esoteric" reading of Machiavelli, there are important differences. Above
all, I propose that Machiavelli's main purpose in writing ironically was to
renovate and defend a tradition of ethical thinking defended by the Greek
authors he refers to - not to subvert that tradition, as Strauss suggests.
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Association:
Name: RSA Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.rsa.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481953_index.html
Direct Link:
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MLA Citation:

Benner, Erica. "Machiavelli's Ironies" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481953_index.html>

APA Citation:

Benner, E. "Machiavelli's Ironies" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel, Montreal, Quebec Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p481953_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Machiavelli's works are usually read at face value as offering judgements
expressed in a direct, unambiguous, if sometimes shocking way. This talk
outlines strong reasons (set out in my book Machiavelli's Ethics) for
thinking that Machiavelli writes ironically: that is, that he uses a range of
techniques to hint at incongruities between his most apparent meanings and
others that are less striking or explicit. These methods are most readily
recognised if we compare Machiavelli's discussions of certain themes with
those of Greek authors who used similar devices to signal meanings behind the
surface of their texts. While my approach has similarities to Leo Strauss'
"esoteric" reading of Machiavelli, there are important differences. Above
all, I propose that Machiavelli's main purpose in writing ironically was to
renovate and defend a tradition of ethical thinking defended by the Greek
authors he refers to - not to subvert that tradition, as Strauss suggests.


Similar Titles:
The Irony of Socratic Irony: Plato's Euthydemus

The Irony Bias: How Verbal Irony Reflects and Maintains Stereotypic Expectancies


 
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