Machiavelli Aristotle Comparison Essay

914 Words Feb 27th, 2008 4 Pages
Machiavelli and Aristotle's writings on man, The Prince and Nichomachean Ethics respectively, and the management thereof contain divergent ideas of how man should act and reason. They have a similar view of the end: greatness, but the means which the two philosophers describe are distinctly different. Machiavelli writes about man as mainly concerned with power and self-assertion, while Aristotle desires a society of individuals, of honorable men. An excess of the power seeking Machiavellians and an undeniable scarcity of genuine individuals have created a contemporary society so out of touch with its own humanity that it desperately needs an application of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. Modern-day society overflows with …show more content…
Men spend hours analyzing and absorbing the opinions of others in order to advance their social, economic, and political status in society, hours that are a total waste to the development of inner accomplishment and true innovation. It is because of such extensive self-deviation that Machiavelli's ideas are self-inhibitive, and that society needs a strong dose of Aristotelian ethics. With men of the Machiavellian ilk being in excess comes a society lacking a distinctly individual population; it has few honorable men by the standards of Aristotle's writings about the proud man. Today, nearly all politicians conform to public opinion. Because most politics is based on representation, public opinion is typically what decides the opinions of men in charge. Additionally, most men tend to conform to the public opinion as well. The general public tends to swing together on issues, picking a side rather than developing their own individual ideas. Although there are people who develop opinions that cross the political spectrum, there are more people who blindly follow their political party and vote accordingly, never diverging from its ideals. Aristotle, however, advocated sheer integrity. He wanted men to display their individual views,
"for to conceal one's feelings, i.e. to care less for truth than for what people will think, is a coward's
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