Comparative Essay: Ancients vs Modern Thinkers

Topics: Political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes, Social contract Pages: 4 (1621 words) Published: December 11, 2012
The Moderns&The Ancients

An Exploration of the distinction of the modern thinkers and ancients Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke, distinguished themselves from the ideas and philosophies of the ancients by their own exploration of the individualist, the responsibilities of the state and government and the nature of the two. But what really distinguished these modern thinkers from those of the ancients, is their ability to take the teachings of the ancients and evolve it with the society that is very much alike to our modern day world. As many political theorists may know, Plato and Aristotle is generally seen as an inspirational and transitional figure between the ancient and the modern political philosophers. Unlike that of the ancients, Machiavelli was not concerned that a government should be an living moral force that was capable of inspiring its people. In Machiavelli's The Prince, he advocates that order is more important than virtue and thus, morality is in many ways impractical. The Prince is an blueprint created by Machiavelli for those who seek to obtain and maintain power in ways that the ancient works did not . Opposite to those of the ancients, Machiavelli's work could be characterized as an down-to-earth, realistic and self-interested text, which is the direct opposite Yang02

of what the ancients have tried to construct in the morals and values of the state, and man himself. The ancients were more concerned with the people as one entity and a general good that was to satisfy all by a set of morals and standards, while Machiavelli believes in the individualist and how the ends justify the means. Machiavelli also gives conspicuity to the role of power and violence in his work. The Prince must be not only be wise in the sense of governing it's people, but also skilled in the art of war for the prince would be rendered as useless if one or the other was missing. Similar to Machiavelli's The Prince, Thomas Hobbes' The Leviathan is also...
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