Machiavelli, Leonardo, and the Science of Power
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
- ISBN: 9780268014339
- Published: July 1996
In recent years, Niccolò Machiavelli's works have been viewed primarily with historical interest as analysis of the tactics used by immoral political officials. Roger D. Masters, a leading expert in the relationship between modern natural sciences and politics, argues boldly in this book that Machiavelli should be reconsidered as a major philosopher whose thought makes the wisdom of antiquity accessible to the modern (and post-modern) condition, and whose understanding of human nature is superior to that of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, or Mill. Central to Masters's claim is his discovery, based on previously untranslated documents, that Machiavelli knew and worked with Leonardo da Vinci between 1502-1507. An interdisciplinary tour de force, Machiavelli, Leonardo, and the Science of Power will challenge, perplex, and ultimately delight readers with its evocative story of the relationship between Machiavelli and da Vinci, their crucial roles in the emergence of modernity, and the vast implications this holds for contemporary life and society.
“Roger Masters finds that the two men of genius collaborated on a Florentine project to divert the course of the river Arno and leave rival Pisa without water. Masters postulates, with good reason, that two such aggressively innovative thinkers must have exchanged more than their views on water channels, and suggests provocatively that Machiavelli’s notoriously objective analysis of power shows traces of Leonardo’s science.” —The New York Review of Books ~The New York Review of Books