Ludovica Filieri

Time and Chance. Spinoza and Machiavelli

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Spinoza; Machiavelli; Time; Chance; Possibility; Necessity; Politics.

Within the discussion about the relationship between Spinoza and Machiavelli, Time and chance. The encounter Spinoza Machiavelli by Vittorio Morfino represents an extremely significant contribution and this seems to us to be his most important result to date in this specific field of research. In Time and chanche, Morfino reconstructs Spinoza’s interest in Machiavelli’s thought by identifying Machiavelli’s works in Spinoza’s library and investigating in depth the appearance of the name of the Florentine secretary in the other volumes it contains. He then analyzes the direct references to Machiavelli in Spinoza’s Political Treatise, then reconstructing the implicit presence of his thought in some passages of the Political Treatise and in some parts of his Theological-political Treatise. In this way Morfino emphasizes how the influence of the thought of the acutissimus florentinus in Spinoza’s reflection contributes not only to the foundation of the Dutch philosopher’s political theory but also influences his ontology. In Time and chanche Morfino thus rethinks the relationship between Machiavelli and Spinoza, placing the reflection on time and history at the center; the author’s aim is to detect a theory of the individual as a singularity irreducible to any “philosophy of historyµ, as well as to any idea of “progressµ, but also to oppose those forms of nihilism that would like to remove any “meaningµ from the historical becoming itself. The Machiavelli-Spinoza relationship is analyzed in this work in the light of the category of encounter; in this sense, the Machiavellian concept of occasion becomes central to indicate the conjunction between the contingency of an event and the complexity of the causes that have necessarily determined it, outside of any teleological perspective. In this prospective, Machiavelli is read not as a character “hiddenµ within Spinotian reflection, but as his strategic place, within a theoretical device whose radicality has not ceased to fascinate contemporary philosophical research.

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