To estimate Machiavelli's conception of virtue is undeniably difficult with obscurity, especially in context to two different types of works, namely The Prince and the Discourses. The Prince exhibits the innovative thoughts and ideas but is mainly subjective of the wickedness and tyrannical interests…
"It is necessary for a prince, wanting to maintain himself, to learn how to be able to be not good and to use this and not use it according to necessity"(Machiavelli 57). He believes that one good man is surely going to suffer among those who are not good. Thus, the virtue of goodness is meaningless for Machiavelli. If a price is imagined to be just as what Machiavelli conceptualizes, he would not be less than a criminally wicked tyrant. On contrast, the Discourses is a good usable book, though being long, nostalgic, and difficult as well. Here, Machiavelli's advices go to not just the rulers but the citizens, social reformers, political leaders, and the founders of republics. The purpose served is to establish and sustain their liberty as well as the avoidance of corruption "unless indeed the goodness of one individual, together with virtue, keeps it free"(Machiavelli xxiv). Improving from the downgraded non-virtuous theme of The Prince, In Discourses, Machiavelli explain that as a new price tends to preserve his principality with glory for a long time-beyond his death-the foundation of a republic is the best approach. "A corrupt city that lives under a prince, can never be turned into a free one, even if that prince is eliminated along with all his line"(Machiavelli xxiv).
However, one thing is clear that he devaluates the republics and principalities as imagined by the writers with virtue. And, the reason is that they emphasized on the moral virtue which, according to him, invites ruin; plus they also rejected violence, cruelty, and loss of faith, which are unavoidable and acceptable for the preservation of the principality according to him. And, this is what is objectionable in The Prince where he goes against the morality set by the classical and biblical values with an intention of framing a novel and modern "political" conception of virtue. The new definition of virtue means something that does not prevent the human from first gaining and then maintaining whatever has been gained, especially the authority. However, morality is one of his targeted themes that also include politics at the first place, necessity, fortune, religion, etc. As far as moral values are concerned, he shows his dislikes for the people of his time because, in his views, they were not actually following the "ancient virtue" but instead were content with keeping ancient statues in their homes, and thus honoring and imitating them in that way. The deeds rendered by the ancient rulers and republics were not at all imitated, neither their examples were meaningful to the then political scenario, according to him. In the first preface to the Discourses he talks about correct history knowledge lacked by his time. This suggests that Machiavelli was not against the ancient value; rather, he praises it with an aim of improving it. He was not much concerned about the would-be negative results of his writings and was eager to bring about a "Machiavellian" interpretation of the ancient virtue-along with a new look of the Renaissance in terms of modernity rather than a copy of the past.
Machiavelli's virtue is questioned mainly because some of the advices in The Prince-such as cruelty for the sake of the subject-go against the virtue as perceived by the human masses. Also, his ...
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For example, some men are prone to courage while others to temperance, which is natural. In addition, temperamental disposition of human beings to understand some things more than others is a natural virtue that arises from individual to individual. On the other hand, the acquired virtues are those virtues that aim for the public good.
His method was based upon asking questions and breaking down the questions over a series of questions to find out definite answer to problems. His overall teachings have been focused on exploration of truth and morality. It may be because of this reason that he was at odd with other philosophers of his time.
His views were so radical that his works merited listing on the Papal Index of Prohibited Books in the year 1559.2 However, the ideas presented by Machiavelli must have had a certain appeal because his works are now well-known and taught at all universities even if many readers may infer that they appear to suggest that only cream and SOBs rise to the top, something that is contrary to Christian thinking.
Then, explain how this doctrine might be related to his claim in the Apology that "the unexamined life is not worth living". Protagoras is a dialogue by Plato, the main characters being Socrates and Protagoras. In the dialogue, Socrates suggests that human excellence amounts to the possession of wisdom.
Homer’s Iliad addresses the issue of virtue in its different facets throughout the whole poem. Even though Homer mainly depicts the Trojan War that opposes Achaeans and Trojans, some cultural and moral values are also displayed that reflect the social and cultural backgrounds of the people involved.
What is required under the concept of economic justice is that everyone, regardless of his station in his life, should be assured of some minimum income. Justice and power are the concepts of political science. Where there is politics, power has to be there. Justice in some or the other circumstances is related to power.
These two written works-plus his History of Florence commissioned by the Medici family-were published posthumously in 1531. After the ousting and execution of Savonarola, the Great Council elected Machiavelli as the second chancellor of the Republic of Florence in June of 1498.
That is its whole reason for being. Under Machiavelli's consent, a ruler is justified in doing whatever needs to be done to maintain the country, even if his actions may be deemed unjust. This is the source of the famous quote: "The end justifies the means." This is a complete opposite of the Platonic model which argues that a ruler may never be unjust.
The conclusion from this review states what it also reveals is not a man obsessed with power at all cost, but instead a man that held considerably moderate views on governance that found himself in a situation where he felt plain speaking and controversial advice could be used to his own benefit.
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