Machiavellian heroes through the prism of Aristotle

Robert Acosta, University of Texas at El Paso


This thesis examines the relationship between the political philosophies of Machiavelli and Aristotle. It hypothesizes that Machiavelli incorporates three fundamental premises of Aristotle's political philosophy: (1) Politics is the master science (2) Man is a political animal (3) Aristotle's conception of human nature. In order to test the hypothesis the thesis utilizes case studies in the form of Machiavelli's four excellent men (Theseus, Romulus, Cyrus, and Moses) that are named explicitly in Chapter VI of The Prince. It is concluded that there is an element of Aristotle's fundamental political philosophy that is incorporated by Machiavelli. This relationship is often ignored and has some important consequences. ^

Subject Area

Philosophy|Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Acosta, Robert, "Machiavellian heroes through the prism of Aristotle" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1465189.