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Author: Emma
Date: 07/02/2017
Event URL: http://handshakes.dzoic.com/events/pragmatism
Location: Guernsey and Alderney, Torteval, Torteval
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Machiavelli, however, was a realist. He was concerned with how things were in reality, not how things could be if the world was perfect. He was greatly influenced by his failures in public life. He had served as head of the second chancery of the Florentine republic, but was dismissed after it fell in 1512. The Medici family was again ruling Florence, and a Medici also sat on the papal throne in Rome. The Prince was an attempt to prevent form those failures being repeated in the future. Machiavelli tried unsuccessfully to use this treatise to gain an advisory appointment either to the papacy or the court of the Duke. He was not concerned with moral virtue, if it meant the destruction and defeat of his state
Simone de Beauvoir is obviously trying to address the weakest point of Sartre's philosophical exposition of existentialism -- what sort of value system arises from the existential outlook? De Beauvoir wants to show how existential assumptions actually do lead to an ethics of a non-classical sort. In speaking of the freedom of men from the deterministic bounds of society, religion, or the material world de Beauvoir states: "[I]t appears to us that by turning toward this freedom we are going to discover a principle of action whose range will be universal (23)." This seems to be an important point as it addresses directly the accusation that the very "existential freedom" of man is a destructive and horrific isolation of each individual into self-justifying random action. Later de Beauvoir states that it is actually freedom itself which is this universal. "At the same time that [freedom] requires the realization of concrete ends, of particular projects, it requires itself universally (24)." She then continues to set up an equality between being free and being moral. Even considering the starting point of ambiguity, how can freedom in terms of consciousness become the basis for any morality? So whatever you do is moral as long as you choose to do it?
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