The Philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli
This paper discusses that two writings by Niccolo Machiavelli, "Mandragola" and "Discourses," focus on his belief that morality should be defined by necessity.
# 59100 | 1,250 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004 |
Published on Jun 02, 2005 in Political Science (Machiavelli, Niccolo) , Political Science (Political Theory) , English (Analysis)
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This paper explains that, through "Mandragola" and "Discourses," Machiavelli seeks to demonstrate that classical morality is too rigid and inflexible to deal effectively with the true realities of life; he proposes a new morality based exclusively on the necessities of humanity. The author points out that Mandragola," a play in the Commedia Erudita genre, borrows some elements from the classic story of the rape of Lucretia; whereas, in "Discourses," Machiavelli seeks to prove the validity of his philosophy through the use of historical examples, most notably the Roman Republic. The paper concludes that Machiavelli's philosophy does not have evil and unjust ends, which have often been associated with it, but rather is a utilitarian philosophy, which seeks to make morality a more practical application, thus ensuring that a society can reach its highest good.
From the Paper:"In addition to the structure of Rome, Machiavelli also believes that Rome embodied the flexibility to deal with unexpected events and crises. Since "all things of men are in motion and cannot stay steady," Machiavelli concludes that a society must either be advancing or declining (Machiavelli 172). Since history shows that mankind has been prone to war, we cannot expect future events to be peaceful, and we cannot expect to live in an isolated utopia. Events will often transpire that will force a society to either expand or maintain its current prosperity or enter a period of decline. Machiavelli's philosophy calls upon government to forego any moral objections to expansionist policies in favor of doing what is necessary for the future survival of the society."
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