Both philosophers, by using contrasting arguments and ideas, set out to show us "how to live" in society. Socrates was an idealist, and Machiavelli was a pragmatic realist. I will discuss whether it is in fact it is true that philosophy or theory has anything of value to offer in the conduct of politics. Socrates' argument is that philosophy has something of value to politics, but Machiavelli does not completely agree.
The writings and thoughts of Socrates and Machiavelli outline a deeper sense of political activity for philosophers. Socrates did not write down his thoughts, but his ideas have been declared through the writings of Plato and other philosophers. Thus it is often difficult to identify which ideas belong to Socrates and which belong to Plato. Whether recognised as rulers or not, philosophers, by determining through philosophical activity what the highest values are, are in fact directing the politics of the society of which they are a part. ...Show more