How Machiavelli Is The Teacher Of Evil Essay

2341 Words Oct 24th, 2016 10 Pages
I. Introduction: topic and each political theorist
Throughout history many political thinkers have quoted the words of Niccolo Machiavelli. Founding father, John Adams and philosopher John Locke claimed to be students of Machiavelli (Viroli Intro). Machiavelli is considered a founder of political philosophy, but his work is not without opponents. Leo Strauss, a political philosopher, argued that Machiavelli was a “teacher of evil” in his book Thoughts on Machiavelli, written in 1958, in which he discusses his interpretation of Machiavelli’s work. Strauss thought to look at Machiavelli’s work without considering this fact was to take away what is admired about his work . Michael Ledeen, Maurizio Viroli, and Harvey Mansfield provide insight that illustrates their position on Strauss’s argument. They use modern examples to build on Machiavelli’s concepts and explain what makes Machiavelli’s The Prince relevant five hundred years after it was written.
II. Leo Strauss Perspective: Machiavelli is the teacher of evil
Leo Strauss points too examples in his critical study of The Prince and The Discourses that he believes supports his controversial argument that Machiavelli is a teacher of evil. These examples include Machiavelli’s discussion of murder, robbery, and ingratitude (Jackson p.45). For example, Machiavelli suggests that the measures men like King David, ancestor of Jesus, must employ at the beginning of their reign, in order to establish their states, are “most…

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