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The Machiavellian MomentFlorentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition$
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J. G. A. Pocock

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172231

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172231.001.0001

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The Problem and Its Modes

The Problem and Its Modes

c) The Vita Activa and the Vivere Civile

(p.49) Chapter III The Problem and Its Modes
The Machiavellian Moment

J.G.A. Pocock

Richard Whatmore

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the tensions between the traditional and the timeless modes of politics. It surmises that the civic humanist might attempt the realization of the universal values of the polis in the particular, finite, and historical form of the republic. Since the republic was neither a customary community nor an aspect of the church militant, it must remain a moment in time—a moment either in fulfillment of prophecy or in the irrational turning of fortune’s wheel—or it must seek means of escaping from the conceptual scheme that has so far been outlined. Minds that could be led to make such commitments and take such chances would be toughly and securely civic minds indeed.

Keywords:   vita activa, vivere civile, republic, civic humanism, polis, Plato, Aristotle, citizenship, Florence, civic patriotism

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