Niccolo Machiavelli And Thomas Hobbes

1472 WordsNov 27, 20146 Pages
Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes both have compelling views towards liberty or freedom. In relation to politics, the term liberty and freedom is an essential contested concept. Because we have no complete agreement as to what these terms concrete definitions are, we will always have politics. The two thinkers have provided a framework of what these two terms mean which laid out a platform for what the terms mean today. Machiavelli expressed his views through his works, The Discourses and The Prince, where he wrote down his political beliefs and most importantly, the issue of freedom or liberty. Notably, Machiavelli praises Rome for its perfection and how liberty played a role in helping the greatness of the city in which he believes resulted from people ruling themselves. Hobbes, through his work The Leviathan, defined liberty or freedom as the absence of external impediments (Leviathan, 136). Hobbes had no interest in where these terms historically derived from, rather he sought to define these terms through his own discovery. Furthermore, Machiavelli provided a more complex model on how to protect freedom. I aim to present the views of the two thinkers pertaining to liberty or freedom, and argue how Machiavelli provides a more compelling view in comparison to Hobbes. The terms liberty and freedom will be used interchangeably throughout the paper since there are no concrete distinctions between them. Machiavelli viewed Rome as a city which was perfected through the
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