Foto del docente

Giovanni Giorgini

Full Professor

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Academic discipline: SPS/02 History of Political Thought


Keywords: classical political thought relativism Aristotle contemporary liberal theory Machiavelli

My main area of specialization is ancient political thought, and especially Greek political theory. The authors I have worked on include the Sophists, Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle. I am also interested in the revival of classical political thought in contemporary liberal theory, in such authors as Stuart Hampshire, Martha Nussbaum, Leo Strauss, Michael Oakeshott and Alasdair MacIntyre. My current researches are on the origin of relativism in the thought of the Greek sophist Protagoras, on the relation between relativism and democracy and on Machiavelli's view of the eternity of the world. 

I am currently working on two main subjects. First, on relativism, which I examine in its philosophical and political aspects, both theoretically and historically. More specifically, I am interested in the origins of relativism in the notion put forth by the Greek sophist Protagoras according to which "Man is the measure of all things"; I examine this notion and its impact on Greek thought and especially the criticism it received by Plato and Aristotle. Building on this ancient 'dialogue', I examine modern theories underlying cultural and political relativism, in order to identify non-relativistic notions which emerge from the history of mankind. This is a long and engaging project that should issue in book form.

My second research concerns Machiavelli's portrait of the "new prince", which I argue is moulded after the Aristotelian characterization of the statesman, identified by the virtue of prudence.