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This study presents a new interpretation of the comparison of Kautilya's Arthasãstra to the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli. According to this author, neither Kautilya nor Machiavelli is a «Machiavellian» in the conventional sense of the term. At the same time, Kautilya is not a «bigger man» than Machiavelli, as most Indian scholars would like to believe, nor is Kautilya a philosopher in the sense that Plato and Aristotle are. Yet Kautilya's fame rests squarely on the fact that his vision of a righteous state guided by dharma is shared by Plato, Aristotle, and even Machiavelli.
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«Both as an essay in comparative thought and an exposition of its political background in the contrasting worlds of ancient India and Greece and Renaissance Italy, Dr. Sil's book is a fount of clarity and wisdom.» (Premen Addy, Oxford University)
«Professor Sil's scholarly comparative study...does not try to diminish Kautilya, nor does it exaggerate his stature...The documentation is extensive, the issues well-defined, and the conclusions persuasive.» (T.L. Shay, Willamette University)
«This book...is of especially great value today, when the teaching of Western Civilization is gradually merging into the larger pedagogical and philosophical context of World History...I have taught several subjects in this area, and...(the) book has been a great help to me.» (Thomas A. Brady, Jr. University of Oregon)
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