Sergiy Saranov,

(PhD) History, Associate Professor,

Luhansk State University of Internal Affairs named after E. O. Didorenko,

Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/2524-048X.2022.23.5


Abstract. In the presented article, the author defends the idea that the argumentation system of Quentin Skinner (Quentin Robert Duthie Skinner), Maurizio Viroli (Maurizio Viroli) regarding the methodological foundations of the origin of the political theory of Niccolo Machiavelli in The Sovereign cannot cast doubt on the approach of the German-American political philosopher Leo Strauss (Leo Strauss). The same emphasis is proposed to be used for the most part in the final value judgments regarding the meaning of the “Sovereign” within the framework of the problems of “state interest” (raison d’état) and the theory of absolutism. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of the concept of the British historian Nicholas Henshall are comprehensively considered. It is argued, with the involvement of a wide background of historiographical assessments and methodological remarks, the productivity in the general historical context of a comparative analysis of the positions of Machiavelli and Guicciardini in the framework of the analysis of the theory of absolutism.

The further development of the theory of absolutism, presented within the framework of social and political thought by the works of, first of all, Thomas Hobbes allows us to see a direct relationship with Machiavellianism as a phenomenon. The analysis of the positions of the representatives of British historiography on the studied issue shows the characteristic features of their evaluations of the interesting author of the issue. Thus, Nicholas Henschel in the work “The Myth of Absolutism” bypasses the analysis of “The Prince”, which would add an additional possibility in substantiating the insufficient character of the theory of absolute power. However, it seems to us that Henschel was perfectly aware in his work that it is difficult to blame the author of “The Sovereign” for the lack of justification of the goal in the expressed theory of absolute power.

Turning to the comparative analysis of the positions of political thinkers of the Italian Renaissance is of significant interest for modern Ukrainian society in a practical sense. The Italian political crisis of the specified period was reflected in the persistent search by the best minds of the Renaissance era for ways out of it, a thorough understanding of the historical and political reality that surrounded Italians. The result was the emergence of impressive theoretical generalizations of key aspects of historical development.

The author comes to the conclusion that without Machiavelli, the ideology of absolutism, which was further developed in the works of the same Thomas Hobbes, could not have received its inherent conceptual outlines. In order to accomplish this, Machiavelli had to make a break with the classical tradition of political philosophy, just as the formation of a centralized state required the concentration of political power in the hands of the monarch, that is, a break with the feudal tradition of political thinking in general.

Key words: theory of absolutism, raison d’état, Machiavellian, Gvіchchardinі, «The Prince», Thomas Hobbes, Nicholas Henshall.


Submitted 10.07.2022



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