[SydPhil] FW: Machiavelli seminar, cancelled

Alexandre Lefebvre alex.lefebvre at sydney.edu.au
Wed Oct 2 15:03:52 AEST 2019

Apologies everyone, but this seminar on Machiavelli set for tomorrow has been cancelled.

All the best,


From: Alexandre Lefebvre <alex.lefebvre at sydney.edu.au>
Date: Monday, 9 September 2019 at 4:05 pm
To: Sydphil List <sydphil at arts.usyd.edu.au>, SydPhil <sydphil-bounces at mailman.sydney.edu.au>
Subject: Machiavelli seminar

Dear colleagues,

This seminar may be of interest.

All the best,


A/Prof Alexandre Lefebvre<http://sydney.edu.au/arts/government_international_relations/staff/profiles/alex.lefebvre.php>
Associate Dean (Student Affairs)
Department of Government and International Relations, and Department of Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

S205 Quadrangle | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
T +61 2 9351 4945

The Italian Studies Research Seminar Series and the Medieval and Early Modern Centre are pleased to introduce

Machiavelli Against the Italian Theory: A Reassessment
Pier Paolo Portinaro, Università degli Studi di Torino

Date: Thursday, 3rd of October 2019
Time: 4-5:30pm
Venue: SLC Common Room 536, Level 5, Brennan MacCallum Building A18, The University of Sydney

This paper has four purposes: 1) To show how Machiavelli punctually reproduced the realistic approach to the problem of history and politics elaborated in the ancient world by Thucydides, by going beyond a simple theory of material interests and placing on the anthropological level the question of the identity of the stakeholders. 2) To argue how Machiavelli elaborates a reflexive theory of politics, centered on a real theory of conflicts: conflicts that, when they are not driven by greed for wealth or private reputation ambitions, generate institutional innovations that widen the access to public affairs, therefore working in favor, at the same time, of the freedom of individuals and the power of the collective. 3) Discuss the question, placed at the center of the contemporary theoretical debate, of how Machiavelli can provide useful elements for a re-establishment of contemporary democracy (or of a populist democracy? Or of a new republicanism? Or of a constitutional dictatorship?). 4) To highlight some misunderstandings of Machiavelli’s thought originating from a radical reading of his theory of conflict – misunderstandings that seem to have made the fortune of the so-called Italian Theory.

About the speaker
Pier Paolo Portinaro studied in Turin with Norberto Bobbio, specialized in Germany with studies on Max Weber and Carl Schmitt with Roman Schnur, Friedrich Tenbruck and Wilhelm Hennis. He taught political science in Freiburg, sociology in Mainz, political philosophy in Pisa and since 1992 political philosophy at the University of Turin. He is a member of the Turin Academy of Sciences. Among his research objects the history and the theory of the State and of democracy in the most diverse meanings (summarized in the volume The labyrinth of institutions in European history, il Mulino, 2007); genocide studies; transitional justice. He dedicated a volume to Political Realism published by Laterza in 1999. He is the author of many studies on the history of Italian political thought, from Marsilio da Padova to elite theorists. Among his most recent books: Breviario di politica, Morcelliana, Brescia 2009, I conti con il passato. Vendetta, amnistia, giustizia, Feltrinelli, Milano 2011, La giustizia introvabile, Celid, Torino 2012, L’imperativo di uccidere. Genocidio e democidio nella storia. Laterza, Roma-Bari 2017, Le mani su Machiavelli. Una critica dell’Italian Theory, Donzelli, Roma 2018, Italia incivile. La guerra senza fine tra élites e popolo, Ananke, Torino 2019.

For more information, contact: A/Prof Francesco Borghesi – francesco.borghesi at sydney.edu.au<mailto:francesco.borghesi at sydney.edu.au>

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