When the Ends Justify the Means in Machiavelli´s The Prince Essay

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When the Ends Justify the Means

It is commonly believed by both lay people and political philosophers alike that an authoritative figure is good and just so long as he or she acts in accordance with various virtues. If the actions of a ruler are tailored toward the common good of the people rather than himself, then that ruler is worthy of occupying the status of authority. By acting in accordance with social and ethical norms, the ruler is deemed worthy of respect and authority. Niccolò Machiavelli challenges our moral intuitions about moral authority in his work, the Prince, by ruthlessly defending the actions made by the state in an effort to preserve power. In particular, all actions made by the state are done in order to preserve its power, and preserving the state’s power preservers its people. In doing so, whatever actions the state exercises are justified with this end goal in mind. Although such reasoning may seem radical, it is practice more readily that most people are inclined to believe. Machiavelli's moral philosophy is deeply embedded in the present day justice administration. Due to this, Machiavelli’s political thought can serve as a reference for illustrating how today’s administrators can benefit from following the examples of other great leaders, such as on matters of global warming.
According to Machiavelli, there is no moral foundation that can be reference to determine whether the state's actions are legitimate or illegitimate outside of the…