Andrea Di Carlo

(Ph. D. candidate, University College Cork, Ireland)

“You are fake news!” A Foucauldian Defence of Machiavelli

November 18, 2020 – 3:30-5:00 pm (GMT) – on Zoom

In his lecture series Security, Territory and Population, Foucault focusses on the vast array of anti-Machiavellian texts produced between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century, produced by authors as diverse as the Huguenot Jurist Innocent Gentillet and Frederick II of Prussia. They advanced a wilfully misleading idea of Machiavelli’s output, arguing that Machiavelli is a ruthless teacher of evil and somebody whose political ideas run counter to Enlightenment rationality. However, by carrying out a genealogical investigation of the anti-Machiavellian phenomenon, Foucault was trying to put up a defence of Machiavelli’s thinking. This presentation has twofold purposes: on the one hand, by drawing on the author’s personal research, it aims to include Machiavelli into a much wider political conversation; on the other, it aims to study Machiavelli’s work from a genealogical perspective, by debunking the fake news surrounding the Florentine Secretary.

Suggested reading:
Foucault, Michel (2007 [1978]) Security, Territory, Population. Lecture 4 (1 February 1978). London, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Andrea Di Carlo is a fourth-year PhD student in Philosophy at University College Cork. His main research interests are ideas of suspicion in the early-modern age, the works and the reception of Niccolò Machiavelli and French philosophy (especially Michel Foucault and Michel de Montaigne) Hi article, co-authored with Dr Miranda Corcoran, “The Devil’s Territories: Nature, the Sublime and Witchcraft in the Puritan Imagination” Fictional Worlds and the Moral Imagination is forthcoming from Palgrave. He is author of the articles “The Self-Analyst and the Doctor: Montaigne and Browne in Dialogue” (eSharp 2020: 38-46) and “The Birth of the Essay: Montaigne and Descartes” (Forthcoming from Epoch, 2020).

Below, the recording of the event:

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