Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Philosopher and Prince

Unfortunately, my new book project and my new job are taking away from my blogging efforts. Since you, my loving readers, probably want to know what my new book project is, allow me to describe it for your approval.

As I’m sure my loyal readers by now know, one of my favorite authors is Machiavelli, and appropriately, one of my favorite books is Machiavelli’s Il Principe. What is less well-known is that Il Principe is part of a long tradition of a genre of philosophers writing to princes or rulers. Indeed, this tradition stretches back to the very first day of philosophy itself – Socrates’ infatuation and involvement with Alcibiades.

The plan of the book is to discuss the role of this genre within philosophic writing to trace the genre as it existed throughout most (but not all) of the history of philosophy.

Here is my plan as of the moment:

Philosopher and Prince: Activity and Contemplation
Socrates and Alcibiades
Plato’s Letters to Dion
Xenophon’s On Tyranny
Thomas Aquinas and Ptolemy of Lucca’s De Regimine Principum
Giles of Rome’s De Regimine Principum
Nicholas Oresme’s Commentaries on Aristotle’s Politics and Economics
Desiderius Erasmus’ Education of a Christian Prince
Leibniz’ Portrait of the Prince
Philosopher and Prince in Modernity


Blogger ZC said...

Best of luck on the book project! I look forward to hearing about it as it comes into fruition ...

10:36 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

It will take at least 5 years (more likely, 10) to come to fruition, so a great deal of patience will be required.

10:11 AM  
Blogger TheHighSign said...

This sounds like a very interesting topic!
Have you considered Seneca's "On Clemency?" I found his description of an ideal ruler to be an incredible addition to the genre, especially as it was aimed at such an infamous figure as Nero. The fact that his efforts to educate his young student ultimately failed makes this piece of literature all the more tragic.
Good luck with the writing!

10:29 AM  
Blogger Alex said...


I had not considered that work by Seneca. Many thanks for the friendship shown by your excellent guidance and wisdom!

1:48 AM  

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