Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence on May 3, 1469.He is notable for his essays on politics, particularly his infamous treatise onpower entitled The Prince.He came form a political family.He held a privileged positionHe had a wife and sixteen children.In 1494 Machiavelli became a clerk at the chancery at Adrian.Later, he became a secretary to the Council of Ten, which was thegoverning body in charge of diplomacy and military organization for thenew Florentine republican government.He observed the workings of foreign affairs firsthand.He met with other political leaders to see how their countries were ruled.He carried out several diplomatic missions to Germany, Spain, and otherItalian city-states.
In 1512 the Medici family regained power in Florence,putting an end to republican rule. As a result, Machiavelliwas forced out of his job and temporarily imprisoned. Hereturned to his country estate near San Casciano after hisrelease and wrote several books on politics, including, Onthe Art of War, History of Florence, Discourses on Livy, andThe Prince, which was dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici inan attempt to gain favor with the ruling family.Machiavelli wrote a first version of The Prince in 1913, but itwas not published until 1532—five years after his death.
• Pragmatic (concerned with practical results).• Gives directions; How-to Book• Brief and to the point• Uses historical precedents to support his points• Appeals to common sense• Suggests alternate arguments and then shows why they are wrong. • Gives the appearance of fairness and thoroughness• Discusses opposite pairings, including both sides of an issue • Compare and contrast• Aphorism
Questions forCritical ReadingMachiavelli “The Qualities of the Prince”
• Ad hominem: "against the man"; attacking the arguer rather than the argument or issue.• Appeal to tradition: a proposal that something should continue because it has traditionally existed or been done that way.• Argument: a process of reasoning and advancing proof about issues on which conflicting views may be held; also, a statement or statements providing support for a claim.• Authority: a respectable, reliable source of evidence.
Begging the question: the arguer proves his conclusion while assuming it to already be true. The premise for his argument is based on the truth of his conclusion. In other words, the argument assumes to be true what it is supposed to be proving. Claim: the conclusion of an argument; what the arguer is trying to prove. Credibility: the audiences belief in the arguers trustworthiness Deduction: reasoning by which we establish that a conclusion must be true because the statements on which it is based are true
Ethos: the qualities of character, intelligence, and goodwill in an argument that contribute to an audiences acceptance of the claim. Euphemism: a pleasant or flattering expression used in place of one that is less agreeable but possibly more accurate. Evidence: facts or opinions that support an issue or claim; may consist of statistics, reports of personal experience, or views of experts. Fallacy: an error of reasoning based on faulty use of evidence or incorrect inference. False analogy: assuming without sufficient proof that if objects or processes are similar in some ways, then they are similar in other ways as well;
• Faulty use of authority: failing to acknowledge disagreement among experts or otherwise misrepresenting the trustworthiness of sources.• Generalization: a statement of general principle derived inferentially from a series of examples.• Hasty generalization: drawing conclusions from insufficient evidence.• Inference: an interpretation of the facts.
• Motivational appeal: an attempt to reach an audience by recognizing their needs and values and how these contribute to their decision making.• Non sequitur: "it does not follow"; using irrelevant proof to buttress a claim.• Post hoc: mistakenly inferring that because one event follows another they have a causal relation; from post hoc ergo propter hoc ("after this, therefore because of this"); also called "doubtful cause."• Qualifier: a restriction placed on the claim to state that it may not always be true as stated.
• Refutation: an attack on an opposing view in order to weaken it, invalidate it, or make it less credible.• Slanting: selecting facts or words with connotations that favor the arguers bias and discredit alternatives.• Slippery slope: predicting without justification that one step in a process will lead unavoidably to a second, generally undesirable step.• Values: conceptions or ideas that act as standards for judging what is right or wrong, worthwhile or worthless, beautiful or ugly, good or bad.
Essay #2•Discuss your options with your group.•Which prompt will you choose?
HOMEWORK• Post #21: How can we apply the philosophy of Machiavelli and/or Lao-Tzu to A Game of Thrones? (Print and bring to class)• Post #22 Essay #2 (1-2 pages: before Saturday) • Choose your topic from "Suggestions for Writing" pages 32-33, prompts 1-6 or pages 50- 51 prompts 1-5. Hard copy due Thursday OR Electronic copy due by noon on Saturday.• Study Vocabulary for exam #4: Test Thursday