Hume and Machiavelli: Political Realism and Liberal Thought
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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Hume and Machiavelli?
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