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Machiavelli?s View Of Human Nature Essay

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Machiavelli’s view of human nature.

Machiavelli has long been required reading for everyone intrested in politics and power. In The Prince Niccolo M

achiavelli presents a unique view on governing a state. Machiavelli believes the ruling Prince should be the only authority that

should determine every aspect of the state and put in effect a policy which would serve his best interests. These interests

were gaining, maintaining, and expanding his political power. (Machiavelli,5). His understanding of human nature was a

complete contradiction of what everyone believed and taught. Machiavelli strongly promoted a physical society and felt

morality was not necessary but in fact stood in the way of an effectively governed principality.
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He suggests that in order

to win honor a prince must be

readily willing to deceive the citizens. One way is to "show his

esteem for talent actively encouraging the able and honouring those who

excel in their professions”, this is because he thinks that by encouraging citizens to excel at their professions he would also be

encouraging them to work better in order to ameliorate the welfare of the country. (Machiavelli,56). These measures, although

they are carried out in deception, they would bring the prince honor and trust amongst the citizens, especially those who were

in a position where they could be his enemys.

In addition, Machiavelli assumes that a prince must also deceive those who

attempt to flatter him. When choosing wise men for his government and allowing them the freedom to speak the truth to him

only in the things which they are sked about. But he should also question them toughly and listen to what they say; then he

should make

up his own mind.(Machiavelli, 76).

Since each person will only advice the prince in accord to his own interests, the prince must act on his own consent.

Machiavelli discourages action to taken otherwise "...since men will always do badly by [the prince] unless they are forced to

be virtuous."13

Machiavelli actively promoted a secular form of politics. He laid

aside the Medieval conception "of the state as a necessary creation for

humankinds spiritual, material, and social
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