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The political philosophy of Han Fei and Niccolò Machiavelli : a historicist reinterpretation

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Item Summary

Title: The political philosophy of Han Fei and Niccolò Machiavelli : a historicist reinterpretation
Authors: Barcenas Pardo, Alejandro
Keywords: Han Fei
Niccolò Machiavelli
Issue Date: Dec 2010
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract: This dissertation is an attempt to propose an alternative to the reading of Han Fei's (韓非) and Niccolò Machiavelli's political thought as evil and amoral. I pursue my study through a double approach of speaking not only about the authors themselves but also trying to present the author's own perspective and terminology. My approach, thus, is historicist and as a result it has as a frame of reference the respective intellectual, social and historical environment of the authors in question. First, I argue that Xunzi and Xenophon are figures that most interpretative literature ignores, but nevertheless make a significant contribution to the content of Han Fei and Machiavelli's understanding of human nature and of the virtues that a successful ruler must have. Second, I reconstruct their view of how a ruler should be educated in order to realize that their advice was not aimed at perpetuating those already in power, but to guide those who ought to rule. Then I expand the discussion about the rulers to argue that the two authors propose a regime based on a system of laws that has as its aim stability, peace and common good. Finally, I argue that their use of history, employed to understand the processual nature of politics, turned their philosophical approach into an early form of the historicist framework used in this dissertation.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Philosophy

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