Hobbes

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Trevor Gillette
6/16/2011
Paper #1: Machiavelli and Hobbes

These two famous philosophers, Machiavelli and Hobbes, lived a century apart from one another, but both still had to live during difficult times. Machiavelli the writer of The Prince was from Italy, where as Hobbes who wrote the Leviathan came from England. Because both lived in hard times you can see why they would have similar political views, however due to the fact that they were a century apart and came from different cultures would explain how they differ in some areas when it comes to their matters of beliefs.

When it came to politics both philosophers believed that only one man should be in power. This way people wouldn’t govern themselves and the country wouldn’t be “…considered in the nature of war” according to Hobbes. (44, Kellerman) Machiavelli and Hobbes both believed that whomever the ruler maybe that he must rule by using fear, but not to the point of being hated. They need to uphold the law and punish those who break it to keep the fear in the people, but yet not become a tyrant to where people begin to hate you. Both of the philosophers main focus was how to not only gain power, but to maintain power as well. Machiavelli said that “The prince should nonetheless make himself feared in such a mode that if he does not acquire love, he escapes hatred…”(35, Kellerman) I find this to be one of Machiavelli’s main points because he said you must find a middle place between feared and love, and because fear is not the same thing as hatred, that is what you must do to maintain power.

This is where we begin to see the differences in the two political leaders. Yes, both believe that one man should be in power, but Hobbes says that all men are created equal. He thinks that yes, the leader should uphold the law, but do it in a way so that the country or group is unified for this leader and they do it for the commonwealth. However, because Hobbes wants his leader to lead as if all men are...
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