New School for Social Research

Chiara Bottici is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York. She is the author of Imaginal Politics: Images beyond Imagination and The Imaginary (Columbia University Press, 2014), A Philosophy of Political Myth (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Uomini e stati. Percorsi di un’analogia (ETS, 2004), which was published in English as Men and States (Palgrave, 2009). She also co-authored with Benoit Challand Imagining Europe: Myth, Memory, Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations (Routledge, 2010). With Benoit Challand, she also co-edited a collection of essays entitled The Politics of Imagination (Routledge, 2011).



From Mythos to Logos, and Back: Machiavelli and Fortune
Niccolo’ Machiavelli is largely credited as one of the founding fathers of modern political philosophy. According to a widespread interpretation, Machiavelli did to politics what Galilei did to the natural sciences − that is, he grounded the possibility of a purely scientific, rational approach to politics understood as an autonomous domain. Bottici’s talk will argue that Machiavelli’s road from mythos to logos was haunted at its very heart by an uncanny and troubling presence: fortuna, which − following a mythical tradition dating back to the Roman goddess of the same name − Machiavelli depicts as a woman. Bottici proposes to interpret The Prince’s puzzling dictum that “fortune is a woman, and if you want to control her, it is necessary to beat her,” along with Machiavelli’s literary masterpiece, The Mandrake, emphasizing the role of women’s bodies and their capacity to bear life in Machiavelli’s peculiar view of what we would today call “biopolitics.”

Time: 7 pm
Location: Ukrainian Institute of America / Library Room