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…
Machiavelli, Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes appear to recommend political actions and systems that take people "the way they are." In contrast, Thomas More and Aristotle appear to recommend political actions and systems designed to help people change the way they are. To what extent is this description of their approaches accurate? According to the introduction to his text The Prince, Machiavelli believes that "the way humans act and
Aristotle, Hobbes, Machiavelli and Bellah What are the different conceptions of knowledge that inform Hobbes's and Aristotle's respective accounts of politics? Be specific about questions of individualism, virtue, and justice. In Bellah's terms, what kind of politics would they support? How are they related to Bellah's views on the relationship between social science and social life? Aristotle stated repeatedly that the needs of the state and society overrode individual pleasures, desires and
Furthermore, that the intent of all princes should be to use all means necessary to maintain their powerbase. The works of Thomas Hobbes were revolutionary during his time period. He used his understanding of human nature and extrapolated the need for absolutism within government. The Leviathan was revolutionary in that it expounded Hobbesian concept of a material universe. His essential premise is that everything in the universe consists only of
Aristotle viewed citizens as the backbone of the state, and considered that they had a clear responsibility to said State. "One citizen differs from another…the salvation of the community is the common business of them all" (Politics, 54). Thus, the Aristotelian approach is one of natural law and natural predisposition; for Machiavelli, politics are constructed. Similarly, when Thomas Hobbes described the life of man in wartime as "nasty, brutish, and
This is reflected in the document where Jefferson expressly outlines the idea that all men have certain rights and are responsible for their own paths in life (Pilon, 2000). It is a product of its own era, and liberalism was the philosophy that drove much of the political actions in the early United States. The same can be said of The Federalist. These were a collection of essays regarding the
tripartite theory of political power? Compare and contrast Plato and Aristotle's political philosophy. According to Professor Dennis Dalton what is "The Break?" Because of the American tendency to bifurcate conceptions of morality and the soul from political structures, it can be at times difficult to grasp the political philosophy of Plato, whereby the nature of the human soul and Plato's ideal political "Republic" are integrally related. For Plato the human