Günter Zöller

War Without and Peace Within. Fichte's Political Appropriation of Machiavelli and Its Contem- porary Context in Herder and Hegel

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Keywords: Machiavelli; Herder; Hegel; Fichte; Clausewitz; Napoleon; French Revolution; Republic; War; Peace; Freedom.

This essay presents and analyzes Johann Gottlieb Fichte's engagement with the political thought of Niccolò Machiavelli in the context of the Machiavelli reception of classical German philosophy. The essay seeks to supplement earlier work on Fichte and Machiavelli, which typically aims at locating Fichte's interpretation of Machiavelli in the overall development of his philosophy, by situating Fichte's political appropriation of Machiavelli in its contemporary philosophical context. The first section deals with the historicist turn in the modern interpretation of Machiavelli. The second section presents the Machiavelli reception to be found in J.G. Herder and G.W.F. Hegel. The third section is devoted to Fichte's interpretation of Machiavelli. The fourth section addresses the role of Machiavelli in Fichte's juridico-political understanding of international relations. The brief fifth section documents the contemporary reaction to Fichte's reading of Machiavelli offered by the young Carl Clausewitz.

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