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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents concluding remarks of the book, which attempts to show that Louis Althusser's interpretation of Machiavelli is an important contribution both to Niccolò Machiavelli scholarship and political theory generally. Furthermore, Althusser's posthumously published writings shed new light on those of his works published during his lifetime. Althusser's critique is aimed at: (1) the method of theoretical humanism, which is based on the separation between the individual and society, which operates within the abstract concept of 'man', and which places 'man' at the centre of his own world; and (2) the idea of the expressive totality contained within the Hegelian philosophy of history which, when interpreted logically, leads to the viewpoint that human practices, such as politics, are seemingly autonomous expressions of the 'big subject', in other words, Universal History. The book uses the expression 'man of action' (Althusser's l'homme d'action) to describe the political actor.

Keywords: humanism; Louis Althusser; Niccolò Machiavelli; political theory



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