Essay about Machiavelli’s View of Human Nature

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Niccolo Machiavelli was a political philosopher from Florence Italy. He lived during the Italian Renaissance from May 1469 to 1527. This period in time that Machiavelli lived was the "rebirth" of art in Italy and rediscovery of ancient philosophy, literature and science. Machiavelli’s philosophy about the nature of man is that man possesses both good and bad qualities, but will lean towards his own self-interests when all things are equal: thus man is a fickle creature. Machiavelli’s view of human nature influences his view of government.…show more content…
This advise would not be sound if man was upright; but because he is treacherous and would not keep his promise, a prince should not consider himself bound to keep promises to him. He asserts that it is necessary for a ruler, when he is with his army, to not worry about being considered harsh because armies are never kept united and prepared for military action, unless their leader is thought to be ruthless. Men who are fearful of punishment will be apt to obey commands without hesitation. Machiavelli believes the only way to ensure loyalty of men is to be respected and greatly feared by them. This fear will keep his men from dissension whether warfare is going well or badly; thus preserving the defense of the state. Machiavelli maintains that “men are simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived; thus a prince can appear to be merciful, truthful, humane, sincere, and religious. The advantage of this appearance will be the impression of a just government, even if the government employs underlying unjust means to accomplish its goals. Men will look at the end result to consider whether to praise or denounce him. Machiavelli believes that men will follow a powerful ruler, and without this power, effective rule is
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