Machiavelli Thomas Hobbes Thomas More Aristotle Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Term Paper Paper: #50890847 Related Topics: Niccolo Machiavelli, Utopia, Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
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Machiavelli, Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes

Under what circumstances is it just (or right, or ethical) to go to war? Why? Compare and contrast how Machiavelli, Thomas More, and Thomas Hobbes might answer this question.

Because of the rather negative perception of Niccolo Machiavelli's theories of political survival and expediency at all costs, one might be tempted to assume that the Italian political theorist believed that the ideal leader, The Prince, should go to war at any opportunity to demonstrate his strength as a leader. However, Machiavelli was not nearly so bloodthirsty or foolish. In fact, Machiavelli believed in self-promotion and the promotion of the existence of the Prince's political future and the state at all costs. War occasionally might serve as a means to this end but only should be undertaken in extreme circumstances. For instance, in discussing a specific political situation that plagued Italy at the time, he noted, that war should only be taken...


He is simply interested in how to advise a leader how to survive, prescribing a code of behavior rather than ethics. This is one reason, for instance, that Machiavelli advises leaders not to take on too many colonial territories as this "always causes a new prince to burden those who have submitted to him with his soldiery and with infinite other hardships which he must put upon his new acquisition. In this way you have enemies in all those whom you have injured in seizing that principality, and you are not able to keep those friends who put you there because of your not being able to satisfy them in the way they expected, and you cannot take strong measures against them, feeling bound to them." (Machiavelli, The Prince) In other words, although having a great deal of territory might make one seem strong, in the short-term, the ire this stirs in the hearts of the subjects may or may not be worth this show of force.

To Machiavelli, it does not matter when…

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