Hume and Machiavelli: Political Realism and Liberal Thought

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Lexington Books, 2004 - Philosophy - 416 pages
Hume and Machiavelli compares the political thought of David Hume, usually seen as a classical liberal theorist of the Enlightenment, and Niccolo Machiavelli, the founder of modern political realism. Through an extensive survey of the two authors' approaches to political science, domestic and foreign statecraft, political ethics, and historical interpretation, Frederick G. Whelan demonstrates the presence of numerous Machiavellian themes in Hume, including both borrowings and similar patterns of analysis and judgment. These similarities indicate that Hume's political theory, grounded as it is in the real world of historical experience and moral complexity, may be characterized as a realist variant of liberalism, standing in contrast to better known rationalist and ideal-oriented liberal theories. The book concludes with a general account of realist liberalism, with illustrations from the Federalist Papers and several recent political philosophers in addition to Hume.
 

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Contents

Hume and Machiavelli?
1
Hume on Machiavelli
8
Religion Commerce and Ciceronian Humanism
11
Humean and Machiavellian Political Science
39
Human Nature
40
Toward a Science of Politics
51
Origins Interests and Conflict
59
Law and Constitutionalism
84
Earl of Leicester
254
Richard II
257
Henry VII
259
Richard III
262
Charles V of France
263
Louis XI
264
Emperor Charles V
266
Henry VIII
268

Humean and Machiavellian Statecraft
127
Prudential Leadership
129
Deception Custom and Religion
145
Power Politics
165
Statecraft II Foreign Policy
199
Reason of State
200
War and Conquest
209
Sources of International Order
221
Humes Princes
249
Richard I and Philip IV
250
Edward I
252
Edward III
253
Stephen Gardiner
270
Elizabeth
272
Oliver Cromwell
275
William III
279
Liberalism and Political Realism
289
Themes
290
The Federalist Papers
325
Contemporary Political Philosophy
339
Bibliography
379
Index
395
About the Author
415
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Frederick G. Whelan is Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

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