Plato and Machiavelli Comparison Essay by Master Writers

Plato and Machiavelli
A paper which compares and shows the similarities and differences between the theories of the ideal state as put forth by philosophers Plato and Machiavelli.
# 16762 | 2,738 words | 2 sources | APA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 24, 2003 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , Political Science (Machiavelli, Niccolo)

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The paper explains that on one level, Plato and Machiavelli can be considered theorists of the ideal state and each gives a high position to the military and military arts in achieving and maintaining order in society. It shows, however, they do have different views of the ultimate place and purpose of the military. What each has to say about the military reflects on the nature of the rest of their philosophies as expressed by Plato in "The Republic" and by Machiavelli in "The Prince". The paper shows that both Plato and Machiavelli analyze history and come to conclusions about the state, its relationship to the citizen, the art of war and the role of the military. Machiavelli wants to determine what works best for the ruler, while Plato seeks an ideal and finds it by linking the individual and the state.

From the Paper:

Socrates speaks of the relationship between the individual human soul and the society of which the individual is a part, intending to make a moral statement about the nature of the state and its relationship to the individual. Socrates says at the outset that it is necessary to admit that the elements that make up the state have to exist in the individuals who compose that state, for they have to come from somewhere, and the human population is the only possible source. Socrates has already noted that the state has three natural constituents, wisdom, courage, and self-discipline, and he then shows that these same three forces are to be found in the human soul. Thus the three parts of the mind identified by Socrates are shown to correspond exactly to the three classes of the state. Socrates shows that the state is just when its three components are in harmony and when each of its classes performs its assigned tasks without interfering with the other classes, just as in the individual, the same thing would be true of the soul. The goal for Plato is harmony, and a professional army class assures the maintenance of that harmony.

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