Comparing Socrates And Machiavelli's The Prince

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Socrates Is No Prince Socrates and Machiavelli lived in a time of political and civil disarray and chaos. Their thoughts on political philosophy and theory are a product of the times in which they lived. Through interpretations of their own political climate, Socrates and Machiavelli produced two schools of political thought that are incredibly different and contrasting. Plato’s Apology and Crito and Machiavelii’s The Prince present these two vastly disparate ideologies. Socrates would be appalled at Machiavelli’s concept of a Prince. His ideas are in complete opposition to those Machiavelli presents in The Prince. Socrates would not support the political system that Machiavelli’s “ideal” Prince would lead. Where Socrates would want the sovereign to do whatever it takes to act justly and ethically, Machiavelli wants the Prince to do whatever is most prudent in order to safeguard his power and to ensure the continuation of his rule. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living” (Apology, 38a). Socrates is an avid supporter of self-knowledge, of better understanding yourself and your nature. From this better understanding of self comes an increased knowledge of right and wrong. Socrates’ main concern is acting justly and ethically. Knowledge of what is just and ethical comes from constantly …show more content…
He is writing this text in order to counsel and influence the minds of rulers or as he calls them, “Princes”. Machiavelli calls for the separation of politics and ethics. Machiavelli does not like Christianity and despises the Holy Roman Empire, as he does not believe Princes should submit to a set of grandiose ideals. Rather a prince should take whatever action is necessary to prolong his rule and protect the state, regardless of religious or ethical considerations. Machiavelli provides a harsh, sometimes callous version of complete and outright

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