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Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution$
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George Anastaplo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125336

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125336.001.0001

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. Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the Modern Project

. Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the Modern Project

(p.52) 8. Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the Modern Project
Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution

George Anastaplo

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores two of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's remarkable characters — Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov of Crime and Punishment and the Grand Inquisitor of The Brothers Karamazov — exhibit a Machiavellian “understanding” of things. It notes that NiccolÒ Machiavelli can be regarded as critical to the development of modernity in political (and hence in constitutional) principles. It observes that each character can help us as well to see better not only the tormented soul of the author but also “the soul” of that modernity which has spawned the characters relied upon by the author. It opines that the New World, dramatized by the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution, may be said to be grounded in fundamental reconsiderations of the proper relationship between the individual and the community.

Keywords:   Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, Crime and Punishment, Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov, Machiavellian understanding, NiccolÒ Machiavelli, modernity, New World

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