• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate Machiavelli's account of therelations between ethics and politics

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Evaluate Machiavelli's account of the relations between ethics and politics. From the beginning of the foundation of organized society many philosophers, political theorists, scientists, psychologists, and others have tried to give definitions to the words like power, society, and the means of rule or politics. For many centuries the human mind was changing very rapidly, so were the definitions. Most of the clashes between the ideologists were on the bases of ethics, morality, accessibility and limitation of freedom, and the power of few or more. The evolution of political ideology was accepting different forms and kinds. One of the political theorists that have tried to give an account for the relations between politics and ethics was Niccolo Machiavelli. During his lifetime and even now, he is considered as one of the extremist political theorists. The reason for this kind of thought was the morality that Machiavelli was bringing to political theory while tackling the questions of keeping the power, legitimate politics, religion vs. politics and morality of the ruler. In The Prince Machiavelli considers politics autonomously, as the independent area of human activity having its own purposes and the laws, which are not by any means bound by moral behavior, however, it would have been incorrect to consider political doctrine that he suggests as the sermon of immorality. Moral reasons In The Prince are always subordinated to the purposes of politics. ...read more.

Middle

The justifications of any executions must be properly made in order to avoid hatred. Machiavelli suggests that the prince should never confiscate the property or take the women of his subjects, which can lead against him. In army the cruelty is justified, and even inhuman cruelty is advised in order to keep the army disciplined and united. Even though the prince that honors his word is praised by others, Machiavelli insists that historically it can be realized that most success comes to the rulers when they can trick their words for their own favor. There are two ways in order to be able to this. The first one is by law, which is natural to humans, and the other is by force, which is natural to beasts. The successful prince is the one that can combine both or this fighting ways, so to speak he has to become half man and half beast. The prince becomes beast when uses force. There are also two types of beasts: foxes, and lions. 'One must be a fox in order to recognize traps and a lion to frighten off wolves and those who simply act like lions are stupid' (Machiavelli, N., The Prince, Penguin Classics, 1999, p. 57). Machiavelli suggests different techniques to different problems, as the prince will know the traps if he acts like fox, and frighten off wolves, if he acts like lion. ...read more.

Conclusion

A bad minister is the one that does everything for his own income rather than the princes. It is very important for the prince to maintain good control over his ministers, and acknowledge the ones that are loyal to him. The Prince has to convince everybody that they can talk to him whenever they want, but at the same time to avoid it, as it may lead to lose of self respect. He should take advices whenever he needs them, and definitely not when others try to make him listen. If somebody hides the truth from the prince, he must punish that person in order to give everybody a lesson. No matter how intelligent the princes' advisors are he himself has to be on control of the matters. If we conclude the political theory that Machiavelli is presenting us we can easily se that he is deriving this theory from the believes that all men are naturally deceitful, selfish, naive and untrustworthy, who are likely to break promises, even though they respect and praise virtue, but most do not possess it themselves. These assumptions about the basic behaviors and the attitudes of the population underlie most of Machiavelli's suggestions for the actions of princes. Although Machiavelli's conclusions may seem disturbing, if we consider contemporary society, we might conclude that little has changed since the era of The Prince, which is a very significant piece of political theory as it was first to differ ethics from politics. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Niccolo Machiavelli. Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy on May 3rd 1469. As ...

    and that the failure of the assault on Pisa was nothing to do with Florence but the bad managing of his troops. Machiavelli left with nothing achieved, and instead of having the welcome and leaving he thought he deserved he got insults of neglect and hearing the Florentines dismissed as 'signor nothing.'

  2. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    The laborers compete not only by selling themselves one cheaper than the other, but also by one doing the work of five, 10, or 20; and they are forced to compete in this manner by the division of labor, which is introduced and steadily improved by capital.

  1. Why does Locke's political theory contain an account of property rights? Does this account ...

    Locke uses the example of acorns or other such fruits, he says that if a person picks these fruits from the tree then the fruits become his property but nothing stops another from picking from the same tree however if he were to improve upon the ground so that the

  2. The ability to manage conflict is undoubtedly one of the most important skills a ...

    minimising your losses and maintaining a climate of Co-operation with the other party Forcing - resolving conflict through the use of formal authority. Forcing is assertive and unco-operative; in other words, it is aggressive because you pursue your own concerns at the expense of the other person.

  1. 'Parties do not matter anymore.' Discuss.

    It could also be argued that parties do not matter anymore because the proliferation of the mass media, particularly the growth of 24-hr news channels such as CNN, and the rapid growth of the internet . These developments have ;supplanted the political party as the main conduit between candidate and voter.'

  2. The Evolving Shape of Elite Politics

    The government expanded the role of "intermediate" associations to articulate the interests of various groups. But it is very limited according to western standards. There has also been an increase in the number of strikes and demonstrations, with better organization and more diverse groups participating than in the past.

  1. Idealistic Politics

    In Antigone, Creon represents the bourgeoisie and Antigone the proletariats; in A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences the arts and sciences were the corrupting vales instigated by the intellectuals whilst the savage being was the unlearned and na�ve proletariat, and finally in Marx's Communist Manifesto where the distinctions are extremely clear among the two classes.

  2. "...the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so ...

    (Machiavelli, 2001, p452). Machiavelli is actually telling the Prince that he should deceive his court and his citizens wherever possible, so as to give the impression that he is a worthy man, without ever compromising his state by actually acting in such a fashion.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work