Wiedza empiryczna i teoretyczna w filozofii politycznej Niccolò Machiavellego

Waldemar Hanasz


Machiavelli is legitimately considered one of the pioneers of empirical methodology. His works are based on the knowledge of history, acquaintance with contemporary political events, and rich personal experience. This article’s intention, however, is to demonstrate that the purely empirical reading of Machiavelli’s methodology is not sufficient. I find in his thought numerous theoretically advanced features which transgress the narrow empirical framework: its fundamental concepts are quite abstract and help construct a vast theoretical system; facts and events are subject to refined analytical speculations; countless generalizations lead to far-reaching predictions and extrapolations; some of them are aprioristic assumptions immune from empirical limitations; some conclusions are based on hypothetical models and thought experiments. The Florentine’s methodology is a complex combination of empirical and theoretical knowledge but there are indications that the creative theoretical analyses inspired him more than dry facts.

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