De Robertis, T. 2020. "From Epistemology to Politics Machiavelli's Reworking of Metaphysics 982a 24-25 in Discourses I, 47". Open Journal of Humanities, 5: 281-297

Tommaso De Robertis
This paper provides an examination of a chapter from Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy (I, 47) in which Machiavelli argues that men deceive themselves in general matters more than they do in particular ones. It contends that in order to defend this claim, Machiavelli tacitly relies on a specific passage from Aristotle's Metaphysics (I, 2 982a 24-25) which deals with the status of empirical and intellectual knowledge respectively. The passage Machiavelli uses conveyed a well-known tenet of
more » ... le's epistemology, one which was also relayed by all medieval and early modern collections of Auctoritates Aristotelis. Not only does Machiavelli appropriate Aristotle's account, however, but also reworks it in an original way, giving it a markedly political connotation that was absent in Aristotle.
doi:10.17605/ fatcat:2lb7bau3ond7xmxghndcmqahey