Socrates, Machiavelli, and Rousseau are three philosophers discussing political ethics from entirely different perspectives. This paper argues that Socrates, Machiavelli, and Rousseau are all idealists regarding their stances on political ethics. First, this paper argues that Socrates is an idealist due his belief that the current government has much more potential than it is currently reaching, and that the government could eventually be changed. Second, this paper argues that Rousseau is an idealist because of his unrealistically positive view of the natural state of humanity and negative view of society. Lastly, this paper argues that Machiavelli is idealistic because of the overwhelming, impossible number of criteria that the Prince
Socrates’ was willing to defend his ideal of ethics and the truth until his death, however, Niccolo Machiavelli had a starkly different view of the truth and ethics and politics. Machiavelli lived during a time of constant warfare, political upheaval, and regime changes resulting in a flexible and pessimistic view of the truth’s role in society.
Author and philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli, in the excerpt from his book, “The Morals of the Prince”, describes the different ways of being a successful prince. Machiavelli’s purpose is to show readers how hard he life of a prince really is. He adopts an informative tone in order to convey to his audience that princes are only human and they will be criticized for every little thing. Machiavelli effectively convinces his audience of what makes a good prince through the use of formal diction, appealing to ethos, and appealing to logos.
statement, however, can be interpreted in two ways- in a Machiavellian state where one can accept this idea then strive for a world filled with order and stability, or a Socratic state where people should be just and fair even though they do not live in that kind of world. Socrates believes to an extent that this world is not the one that gets to judge you, but it is in fact in the afterlife- where one faces the gods- that matters. He would see Machiavelli’s prince as illegitimate depending on how he obtained and maintained power. For Socrates, a Prince that enables the suppression of ideas and of questioning is one that has no merit and no wisdom. There are three points in which Socrates would disagree with Machiavelli’s tactics. One being the use of violence- an inherent injustice to Socrates- on any person. The other is the use of money or material to bribe enemies, turning them into temporary friends. Lastly, Socrates would take issue with responsibility- to not only ones self, but for ones people. It is in these three points that which the ideals and virtues held so close to Socrates are destroyed in the name of peace and order.
Socrates would view Machiavelli’s concept of a prince as ignorant and built upon falsehoods as seen through Machiavelli’s explanations of holding new principalities. From the very start of “The Prince” Machiavelli explains that hereditary principalities are always easier to rule, because of the fact that “it is sufficient only for the prince to maintain the customs of those who ruled before him” (Machiavelli, Ch. 2). In contrast Socrates in the “Apology” passionately fights against the status quo. He likens himself to that as a gadfly of the Athenian state stinging the large horse “great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life” (Apology, 30e). Socrates finds that a leader who grows content and maintains customs as those before him is foolish as he does not think for himself. A truly enlightened prince would question and challenge everything that comes his way. An enlightened prince would
Socrates and Machiavelli both existed during times of political unrest. Both men sought different means of political leadership, and could be seen as activists of their times. During times of war and unrest, it was a bold choice that both men made to stand up for their beliefs and speak out against the system. However, Socrates wouldn’t have agreed with Machiavelli’s means and concepts of the Prince and his ideas for how a political establishment should function.
Socrates and Niccolo Machiavelli are two of the most renowned influential political theorists in history. Their most acclaimed works, Apology, and The Prince appropriately created the basis for various political ideologies that are still being used in today’s society. Machiavelli wrote The Prince in 1513 as a gift to the Medici family who controlled Florence at the time. The Apology was written by Plato in 399 BC who was one of Socrates students and admirers. Most of our knowledge on Socrates philosophies and theories originate from the writings and dialogues of Plato. Machiavelli and Plato lived during times of uncertainty, violence and political fragmentation however they both had different perspectives on what makes a good prince.
Machiavelli and Socrates agree on very little. While an initial reading of the two may elicit some comparisons, the goals of their respective philosophies rely on different foundations, and would therefore culminate in very different political results for society. Socrates would likely see in the Prince a selfish ruler, while Machiavelli would see in Socrates a dangerous idealist whose ideas would lead to instability and the death of the state in which these ideas were implemented. Machiavelli’s philosophy of the Prince would not satisfy Socrates because instead of focusing on right action, the Prince is encouraged to put political expediency and self-preservation above all else. In addition, the type of political system that Machiavelli’s
While Socrates and Machiavelli lived over 1900 years apart, the dilemmas their societies faced draw many parallels. In Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, he demonstrates a wide-ranging set of rules and principles to be followed by a leader to ensure the steady maintenance of authority and stability in a state or principality. Not only would Socrates be opposed to many of the espoused views in “The Prince” on what creates a successful ruler, thereby society, but had he lived in Machiavelli’s “ideal” state, he would openly question and rebel against the cogs that maintain its stability, possibly even advocating its upheaval. Socrates would most ardently disagree with Machiavelli’s depiction of the supremacy of the prince and state over its
Socrates and Niccolo Machiavelli were both incredibly influential in the development of Western philosophical thought, specifically in relation to ethics in politics. Machiavelli’s text The Prince, written during a period of political turmoil in Italy, outlines the necessary steps a prince must take to obtain both power and authority. Plato’s The Last Days of Socrates assesses the moral and ethical guidelines an ideal leader should possess through the beliefs and teachings of Socrates. While both texts had similar objectives, their opinions were quite contradictory. Socrates would have found Machiavelli’s concept of the “Prince”, and the government he creates to be both unethical and fundamentally flawed. Socrates places higher value on the maintenance and creation of justice, while Machiavelli stresses the process of obtaining and preserving power, unethical or not. Due to their differences in their ideas of virtue, knowledge, and justice it can be concluded that Socrates would not be supportive of the government in which The Prince proposes.
Plato’s account of Socrates’ defense against charges of corrupting the youth and heresy, reveal the ancient teacher’s view of justice as fairness and support of rule of law. In the Apology, Socrates faces a moral dilemma: to either accept his punishment for crimes he did not commit or to accept the assistance of his friends and escape death by the hand of the state. His choice to accept death in order to maintain rule of law reveals his belief of justice. He beliefs his punishment to be just not because he committed the crimes but because his sentence came through a legal process to which he consented. By sparing his life, he would weaken the justice system of Athens which he values above his own existence. This difference between the two men’s beliefs regarding justice draws the sharpest contrast in their views of effective leadership and government.
Plato and Machiavelli are both theorists that focus on the concept of well-being in regards to the state. However, although their main concentration is the same – the well-being of the state – they vastly differ when it comes to what their stand on morality is, focusing on separate virtues within their books, Republic and The Prince respectively. A virtue is defined as a conformity to a standard of right: morality” or a “particular moral excellence” (Virtue). Plato centres around virtues such as wisdom, courage, temperance and justice whereas, Machiavelli focuses on boldness, adaptation, prudence and foresight. In this paper I will focus on the differences and similarities between Plato and Machiavelli’s accounts of virtue, what virtues each finds valuable for political life and how they contribute to the health of the state. I will also touch on how the theorists’ accounts of virtue deviate from one another and what that tells us about the approaches each takes in regards to the political life.
Socrates and Machiavelli are both very influential philosophers and two of the great minds of their time. However, both of these men had their own separate ideas that did not completely agree with one another. Machiavelli was born into a Renaissance time period of fragmented politics, lots of bloodshed, and angry citizens while Socrates grew up in a time of political adjustment and instability in Athens. Machiavelli constructed The Prince as a political pamphlet to his friend Lorenzo de ' Medici on how a prince would successfully rule his land or kingdom most effectively. This guide consisted of ideas that involved cheating and lying to keep people happy and asserting dominance over others. The Greek philosopher Socrates, on the other
First let us discuss the ideas of Niccolo Machiavelli in is piece “The Prince”. Machiavelli has a very independent controversial way of thinking and portraying his ideal form of governance in this text. The ideal and most effective from of governance for him is not in that of a republic but instead he insists in an autocratic regime. He argues that republics and other forms of government are too weak because of the corruptness of human nature. This book is written as a guide on how a prince should run his state or nation based on how and when he would come into this power. One of his main concerns in which he has been criticized for is his disregard to follow moral values so as to properly run the state, as well as