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Title: Machiavelli, Fichte, and Clausewitz in the Labyrinth of German Idealism
Authors: Paret, Peter
Keywords: FichteClausewitzJohannes von MüllerHistorical ObjectivityInteraction of Politics and War
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2016
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Peter Paret, "Machiavelli, Fichte, and Clausewitz in the Labyrinth of German Idealism", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XVII (2015) 3, pp.78-95
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XVII (2015) 3
Fichte’s 1807 essay on Machiavelli, written when much of Prussia was occupied by French troops, and Clausewitz’s lengthy response, based on long acquaintance with Machiavelli’s works, discuss Machiavelli’s writings as an inspiration and practical guide in helping German states regain their liberty. As well as their authors’ politics, the two essays reveal their different views of history – Fichte’s being highly deterministic, as is that of his friend Johannes von Müller, the historian of the Swiss struggle for freedom; whereas Clausewitz seeks objectivity in his reading of the past, without which, he has come to believe, he cannot understand war and its place in history. For Clausewitz, Machiavelli’s writings are of more than current political significance; they have given valuable support to his growing recognition of the mutual dependence of war and politics.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2015) XVII/3

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