Haþim Cihan Demirköprülü, 20303433
Essay Question: Compare the Characteristics of the true guardians, as described by Plato (Republic, bk VII, pp.158 – 61, 484b – 487e) with the characteristics of the rulers, as described by Machiavelli (The Prince, ch.15, pp. 47 – 49 and ch. 18, pp.54f). What is the most important difference between the two accounts? In your view, which account is better, and why?
For centuries, every ruler created their own principles and rules and somehow they ruled millions of people and controlled their future. In this essay, I will try to compare the characteristics of two types of ruler, one is Plato’s true guardian where he mentions in the Republic and the other one, Niccoló Machiavelli’s ruler image in his writings The Prince and state my view whether a true guardian or a harsh ruler is suitable for the mankind. First of all, it is important to clarify that Plato pays attention to create a utopian world. His idealistic approach aims to provide the perfect society, mostly concerning with how things should be. However, Machiavelli is not concerned in imaginary societies where everything is in an ideal state. He is a realist thinker, interested in how things were in everyday reality not how things could be if the world was perfect [Selected Political Writings, The Prince, ch. 15, p.48]. According to these approaches, the definition of the true guardian of Plato and the ruler of Machiavelli differ from each other. Firstly, Plato signifies that, a true guardian because they are also philosophers, should be impatient for all kinds of learning and acquirement whether large or small, more precious or less so [Republic, p.159, 485b]. This impatience for knowledge arises from true guardian’s philosophical nature. Next, Plato considers the importance of the trustworthiness of a ruler and remarks that “they must be without falsehood – they must refuse to accept what is false, hate it, and have...
References: - Plato, republic, tr. G.M.A Grube, revised by C.D.C. Reeve, 2nd edition, Hackett (1992)
- Niccoló Machiavelli Selected Political Writings, The Prince, ed. And tr. David Wootton. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994
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