Niccolo Machiavelli "The Prince"

Topics: Morality, Political philosophy, Virtue Pages: 6 (2144 words) Published: September 23, 2007
Around 1513 Niccolo Machiavelli while writing "The Prince" would not be considered a theologian. When thinking of Machiavelli many people confuse him together with the names of rulers who have abused his writings. It also seems other people confuse Machiavelli with the rapper who took his name. Either- way people confuse Machiavelli it seems they fail to look at his true message, bettering the state and the greater good. Machiavelli may seem evil to some but his political theory properly applied is optimal for founding a state, establishing and then maintaining order.

Machiavelli being a consequentialist believed actions should be judged by their consequences. Machiavelli because of the way he thought believed you could calculate a consequence. Thinking this way is a great way to justify actions some would consider to be immoral. The question though was Machiavelli really justifying immoral actions or was he simply being rational? The answer is not obvious though and matters who you are speaking to.

Machiavelli can be considered evil seeing that he does in a manner justify it. Does Machiavelli justify all evil and is he totally separated from good? The answer to that question relies whether or not you are speaking to a utilitarian. Another problem occurs though is there such thing as a pure utilitarian? For the sake of simplification when applying utilitarian it will be though as someone who is not purely utilitarian seeing that it is almost impossible to be purely utilitarian. Returning to the initial question of whether he is separated from all that is good, a utilitarian would say no. Machiavelli does justify actions some consider immoral. What is morality though? Some consider morality to be a distinction between right and wrong. Is not the betterment of society no matter how many it hurts, as long as it does not hurt the majority moral? When thinking of right and wrong would it not be right to save more even though you have to hurt some?

Machiavelli is not against all that is good. Machiavelli, although thought to be, is not against religion. Machiavelli believes religion is a great unifier. A fact many have overlooked in his philosophy. Also it seems there is a hint of belief or acknowledgement in God in his passage "Although one should not reason about Moses, since he merely executed what God Commanded, yet he must be praised for the grace that made him worthy of speaking with God. But let us consider Cyrus and the others who acquired great kingdoms: they were all praiseworthy, and their actions and institutions, when examined, do not seem to differ from Moses, who had such a mighty teacher." This quote too could be Machiavelli simply covering his tracks so he does not seem blasphemous and the punishment that would come with being blasphemous. It is interesting though why he would even mention Moses when he could have been as easily left out?

Machiavelli believed for a prince to be successful he must found a state that will not need a prince once he dies. This belief was stretched over The Prince and The Discourses. The question though is how can a prince make himself obsolete or should he make himself completely obsolete? The answer is no he can not make himself completely obsolete. A Prince should establish a republic but still have a way to return to an authoritarian government with a prince if the state is in crisis. Machiavelli learned this philosophy from the Romans who called this position office of dictator.

Why would Machiavelli after writing on how a prince should conduct himself then believe in a republic. The reason, Machiavelli knew a prince was not the best form of government because he was aware of the limitations to a prince. First a prince if handed the position through heredity will sooner or later be a moron. As clearly displayed and discussed in class by the Nazi arm band wearing Prince Harry. Machiavelli also was aware that a prince who...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli Essay
  • Essay on The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli: Book Analysis
  • The Art of Being a Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli Research Paper
  • Book Review of the Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli Essay
  • Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince Essay
  • Essay about The Prince
  • niccolo machiavelli Essay
  • Niccolo Machiavelli Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free