Machiavelli and human nature

Machiavelli married Marietta Corsini in Political-military alliances continually changed, featuring condottieri mercenary leaderswho changed sides without warning, and the rise and fall of many short-lived governments.

Machiavelli and human nature

It is easy to find textual support for claims that appear to presuppose or be equivalent to some version of psychological egoism. Objectives which are not secular or this-worldly are only rarely mentioned, and those who concern themselves primarily with such aims are rather summarily dismissed as theorists only for imaginary republics and principalities.

It might almost be said that he has no other arguments to offer, no other considerations to bring to bear. Equally easily, one can find textual support — often in the same texts — for claims that seem to echo the Christian doctrine of Original Sin.

His remarks on the subject are remarks — generally in the form of asides intended to reinforce some other point. He is a careful and intelligent observer of the world around him, but there is nothing to suggest that any of his staements on human nature are meant to be self-sufficient and unqualified by what he has to say elsewhere.

Second, he is speaking of a restricted context, the arena of political power and conflict.

Machiavelli’s Conception of Human Nature

Nobody, including Machiavelli, thinks that the topics he seeks to address encompass all of human life. Politics may set the terms within which other interests are pursued — but there are other interests and other pursuits.

An economist need not believe that all people are rational profit maximizers, only that in certain contexts it is useful so to model them. Prince, xxii, 86 If, then, Machiavelli is neither clearly a psychological egoist nor an adherent to some extreme version of pessimism about human goodness or rather its absencewhat sort of conception of human nature is reflected in The Prince?

He assumes only that it is unsafe to count upon their acting otherwise than in their own interests. And because it is not safe to assume that people will act otherwise than in their own interests, it is wise, insofar as it is in your power to do so, to arrange that it is in their interests or at least not contrary to their interests to act in ways compatible with your own interests.

Second, Machiavelli assumes that people will assess their interests primarily in secular or this-worldly terms. People will pursue or find motivationally most salient such objectives as wealth, power and fame, and will most vigorously seek to protect life, security, loved ones and property.

Niccolò Machiavelli - Wikipedia

Third, he assumes that desire typically exceeds any available means for its satisfaction. The foregoing, I think, is a fair though sketchy presentation of the conception of human nature that finds expression in The Prince. At most, there is some modest need for elaboration.

Thus, though a prince may think that it is in his interests to be suddenly cruel or treacherous, the people, not being as well situated to take advantage of momentary changes of circumstance, are forced to premise their actions upon longer-term considerations.

Beyond these considerations, in the background of Discourses I. For a prince who knows no other control but his own will is like a madman, and a people that can do as it pleases will hardly be wise.In the discipline of international relations there are contending general theories or theoretical perspectives.

Quotes By Topic

Realism, also known as political realism, is a view of international politics that stresses its competitive and conflictual side. Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3, – June 21, ) was an Italian political philosopher, historian, musician, poet, and romantic comedic ashio-midori.comvelli was also a key figure in realist political theory, crucial to European statecraft during the Renaissance.

At the dark heart of The Prince is an unsparing and unsentimental view of human ashio-midori.com men, Machiavelli writes, are “ungrateful, fickle, dissembling, anxious to fear danger, and covetous of. Print PDF. THE NATURAL LAW THEORY of THOMAS AQUINAS Thomas D.

Machiavelli and human nature

D’Andrea, University of Cambridge. Thomas Aquinas is generally regarded as the West’s pre-eminent theorist of the natural law, critically inheriting the main traditions of natural law or quasi–natural law thinking in the ancient world (including the Platonic, and .

Human nature - Wikipedia

Machiavelli’s View of Human Nature Simple versions of Machiavelli’s conception of human nature may readily be elicited from The Prince. It is easy to find textual support for claims that appear to presuppose or be equivalent to some version of psychological egoism.

Machiavelli and human nature

Machiavelli, however, had a negative view on human nature and made the central message of his writings based on human weakness (Western Humanities, pg.

). In The Prince, Machiavelli describes the many negative traits that are inherent among human beings.

SparkNotes: The Prince: Themes