Le problème de la Fortune chez Machiavel : histoire, politique et liberté

The determined objective in this essay is to demonstrate how, through the reverse of the Fortune, in other words the contingency, it is possible to think the political freedom of Nicolas Machiavel. To accomplish that, we use the concept of history as a starting point. We hold that to be able to insure the freedom of the people and of Florence, Machiavelli elaborates a political theory who’s cornerstone is the notion of history: history is constitutive of politics and it is the condition sine qua non to face the Fortune. To do that, we first present how history was conceived during Antiquity. We then expose the same question, but this time with regards to the humanist tradition. It is therefore possible to ascertain that humanists reused the greco-roman intuitions, but they also crystallized the problem of history around virtue, the common good, and also the vita activa. We then attempt to situate Machiavelli based on his conceptions about history taken from the Antiquity and the Renaissance. Through his depiction of the human nature, the theory of humours, the polis and his conception about virtue, we argue that on many levels, he is in opposition with his immediate predecessors, the humanists. We then navigate through what he proposes: a redefinition of the concept of the prudence and virtue. Finally, these rebuttals allow us to bring out the basis on which holds his solution for the problem of Fortune: first on an oriented reading of politics based on the effective truth, and then on the establishment of institutions capable of adaptation and that correspond to the customs of the people.