Machiavellis ethical theory as expressed in

Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: Machiavelli promoted his belief by stating: Thus, it is misleading for it is a way of doubling immorality, which obviously does more harm than good. Compare with what Leo Strauss said concerning the United States: A New Reading, Oxford: His resting place is unknown.

Machiavelli gives a negative example in Emperor Maximilian I ; Maximilian, who was secretive, never consulted others, but once he ordered his plans and met dissent, he immediately changed them.

He entered governmental service in Florence as a clerk and ambassador inthe same year as Florence had restored the republic and expelled the ruling Medici family.

Polity,pp. V The state, then, is a means to an end, not an ultimate value. That is why C.

Ethical Consequences of Machiavelli’s Ends Justifies the Means

And The Prince speaks with equal parts disdain and admiration about the contemporary condition of the Church and its Pope Machiavelli29, 44—46, 65, 91— If winning the battle requires killing his closest comrade or enslaving hundreds of women, then the ruler must not think twice to deliver.

While Cicero preached honesty, human fraternity, peaceful settlement of disputes, his Rome practiced force and deceit to create an empire. All their opinions should be taken into account.

And indeed he should be so. Yet Machiavelli himself apparently harbored severe doubts about whether human beings were psychologically capable of generating such flexible dispositions within themselves. In this essay, after I provide the relevant historical context, I will then provide outlines and comparisons of a number of interpretations of Machiavelli's moral theory that have been expressed in recent times, supported with textual references from the Prince.

Only in a republic, for which Machiavelli expresses a distinct preference, may this goal be attained. It can be summarized as follows: But no one can speak to a wicked prince, and the only remedy is steel….


Virtue in the traditional sense stands for human excellence, and, as such, involves the proper cultivation of human faculties. Hannibal and Scipio Africanus. Ekwutosi points out that: Confirmation of this interpretation of the limits of monarchy for Machiavelli may be found in his further discussion of the disarmament of the people, and its effects, in The Art of War.

Power is even more important than virtue. Rulers must manage Fortuna with the boldness and vigor of a young men. If a prince can not be both feared and loved, Machiavelli suggests, it would be better for him to be feared bey the citizens within his own principality. This aphorism captures the fact that something must have prompted Machiavelli in maintaining his stand in his amoral thought.

The "great" wish to oppress and rule the "people", while the "people" wish not to be ruled or oppressed. Concomitantly, a Machiavellian perspective directly attacks the notion of any grounding for authority independent of the sheer possession of power.

Machiavelli believes the ruling Prince should be the sole authority determining every aspect of the state and put in effect a policy which would serve his best interests.

The book may have been shaped by informal discussions attended by Machiavelli among some of the leading Florentine intellectual and political figures under the sponsorship of Cosimo Rucellai. Our society no doubt, if this is done, will see the light of the day in terms of development, moral consciousness to mention but few.

Florence had been under a republican government sincewhen the leading Medici family and its supporters had been driven from power. He maintains that the people are more concerned about, and more willing to defend, liberty than either princes or nobles Machiavelli— Reprinted in Felix Gilbert, History:Machiavelli's political theory, then, represents a concerted effort to exclude issues of authority and legitimacy from consideration in the discussion of political decision-making and political judgement.

Niccolò Machiavelli

morality and ethics in politics. The theory that the end justifies the means encapsulates his political and moral thought. The adjective Machiavellian means a total lack of scruples. The popular conception is that Machiavellis political methods are amoral, evil, rational and pragmatic.

But the reality is that what Machiavelli said was not new. (4) Here’s something that few people are aware, given the aura of Machiavelli literally as a mean machine.

He was, surprise, surprise, quite a was active in intellectual circles in Florence and wrote plays that, unlike his works on political theory, were both popular and widely known in his lifetime. The view expressed in this speech claims the dignity of a general theory.

The clearest example of this is the assertion that appears throughout Machiavelli’s writings to the effect that power and wealth can be achieved only by force or fraud, or both. The Prince (Italian: Il Principe [il ˈprintʃipe]) is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli.


From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed inusing a Latin title, De Principatibus (Of Principalities).

[1]. Certainly, Machiavelli contributed to a large number of important discourses in Western thought—political theory most notably, but also history and historiography.

Machiavellis ethical theory as expressed in
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