Niccolo Machiavelli

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Background
* Niccolo Machiavelli born in Florence Italy, May 3, 1469 * Father was a lawyer
* Family had own personal library that had books on Roman and Greek philosophy * Saw the troubles of the French invasion (1493)
* He was employed in diplomatic services and as a historiographer. * Wrote many books, but is best known for his masterpiece The Prince in 1513 * Never considered himself a philosopher
* Yet he is considered one of the greatest philosophers
* Died June 21, 1527

Philosophy
* It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles It doesn't’t matter what you name yourself, but what you do to deserve that title.

* He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command
If you want to order, you have to know how to order

* History is written by the victors
History is biased. The victors will tell their side of an event and favor it in their names

* The ends justifies the means
What ever you do, the way you do it is the way it ends

Written contributions to law and politics

* Niccolò Machiavelli never used the term “natural law” and never discussed the subject.

* Machiavelli’s silence is even more resounding because he was familiar with legal language and its classical sources. “Civil laws,” 

* When he speaks of the rule of law, Machiavelli means first of all fulfillment of the principle that prescribes that men’s actions are to be judged on the basis of general rules that apply equally to all actions of the same type and to all individuals of the group concerned. Once it is in place, it must be obeyed without allowing for privileges or discriminations. As he strongly asserts, crimes have to be punished regardless of the personal and public merits of the criminal.

* Importance of fortune and virtue and relative morality, using methods such as biblical comparisons and metaphors

The Prince (Book)
* Machiavelli composed The Prince as a practical guide for ruling...
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