Virtue and the Double Standard

Mark Philp and Z. A. Pelczynski

in Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645060
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741616 | DOI:
Virtue and the Double Standard

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Does Machiavelli operate with a different standard for the public (virtue) than or the private sphere (goodness)? What is his understanding of virtue and immorality? Plamenatz argues that the double standard is widespread. He examines Machiavelli’s ‘magnificent crimes’ and his condoning or excusing of them, and the underlying philosophy, which values lasting fame and reputation. He identifies a number of heroic virtues in Machiavelli, which may be displayed in morally good or morally bad ways.

Keywords: Machiavelli; public; private; ambition; virtue; fame; reputation; evil; heroism; fortune; corruption; Christianity; humility; Agathocles; Borgia

Chapter.  6875 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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