Analysis Of Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

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Morality is a subjective term that has been discussed frequently in political philosophy throughout history. Due to the fact that morality is a concept that is open to interpretation, a philosopher’s teachings on the subject can sometimes be misunderstood. This is the case for Niccolo Machiavelli, an Italian philosopher who is known for his work, The Prince. Machiavelli’s text is essentially a guide for rulers (also known as Princes) on how to ensure stability and maintain power. In The Prince, Machiavelli consistently advocates for the use of violence in order to preserve and gain power for the state. Therefore, this essay argues that Machiavelli’s teachings in The Prince are still moral, albeit a different kind of morality than that of the Greeks. The argument will be made by examining Machiavelli’s teachings in The Prince, specifically pertaining to man’s self-interested nature, the use of controlled cruelty, and the necessity of harmful actions committed in order to maintain the state. Diverging from the classical and Christian interpretations of morality which emphasize being good and doing no harm, Machiavelli sees man as incapable of this mission and instead, supports a different sense of morality. In this, the idea of power is at the forefront of discussion. While Greek philosophers like Socrates view the quest for power as a corrupt act, Machiavelli sees it as natural. Thus, in order to analyze The Prince, we have to alter our perspectives to see that for
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