John Locke versus Niccolo Machiavelli Despite their contradictions on “sovereignty”, John Locke and Niccolo Machiavelli (two philosophers of the Renaissance era) shared one conspicuous concern, and that is their concern for the betterment of society. It is plain to see that both philosophers did have common ways of thinking regarding what a ruler should and should not do. It is ‘how’ a ruler should behave in order to win sovereignty of his state that led to a divergence in their opinions. I certainly am inspired with the Lockean way of thinking, but I am not sure how realistic such a way of thinking is when applied to our modern times. The ‘Lockean Liberalism’ is a paradox only in theory.
We use this is help us choose the right moral action is situations. Aristotle and Aquinas both conclude that humans aim for some goal or purpose in life-but does not see this as eudemonia. Aquinas believes that humans are the ‘image of god’ therefore the supreme good must be the development of this image which is perfection. They did not believe that you could reach this perfection in this life but the afterlife. There are the three laws in Aquinas’ book which are eternal, natural and divine.
On one hand, the Enlightenment views saw God as a far away figure that did not interfere with the lives of humans. The Enlightenment was a period of intellectual growth that tried to explain the true nature of mankind and how it progresses. One of the most important theorists for The Enlightenment was John Locke. John Locke created a theory called tabula theory, which had important assumptions about human nature and undermined Christian assertion that humankind was inherently sinful. Another person who also criticized some of the religious views was Pierre Bayle.
The modern development of virtue ethics is often linked back to a paper by G. E. M. Anscombe entitled ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’. In this paper Anscombe questioned whether there could be moral laws if there was is no God. What do wrong and right mean if there is no lawgiver, she suggested eudaimonia is the obvious answer as it is not dependent on God. Other modern philosophers such as Alasdair Macintyre believed that ethical theories just resulted in disagreements and that morality should be seen
While Socrates arguments may be sound in his opinion, I'm not sure if I agree with them. Just because of the good laws of the state benefited Socrates and helped him in his upbringing, it doesn't mean that he has to remain completely loyal to them for his entire life. His main point about never returning an unjust act with another makes sense to a degree, but only if you agree with his view that the soul is the only thing that matters and not the body. While I understand that point, I don' think every unjust act ruins the soul. Some acts such as telling a white lie in some situations are
A person must ultimately make the decision to be “good” in the presences of negative influences, it is what we as a society have determined to be “good” that sets apart the civilized from uncivilized societies. There are several ethical philosophies that hold merit and each has its weaknesses alongside its strengths. Virtue ethics, developed in ancient Greece with proponents such as Plato and Aristotle, is probably one of the most well known of the philosophies for its long history and relatively basic structure. Several other ethical views are built upon the basics set out in virtue ethics. A person inherently has some sort of primitive worldview and code of personal ethics.
Kant’s view uses a categorical imperative, in which ethics is based upon an absolute, objective, deontologcial theory, in which intentions are more important than consequences. Kant believed that an ethics should be based around something entirely good. He decided that the only thing entirely good in the whole universe is ‘good will’. Everybody must decide ethical decisions in a way in which they put themselves last, fulfill their duty, and commit only selfless acts. This may be psychologically impossible, as many believe there is always a selfish reason for any good deed, however Kant only proposed a theory, and
Actions are then just if they sustain or are consonant with such harmony. Such a conception of individual justice is virtue ethical because it ties justice (acting justly) to an internal state of the person rather than to (adherence to) social norms or to good consequences; but Plato's view is also quite radical because it at least initially leaves it an open question whether the just individual refrains from such socially proscribed actions as lying, killing, and stealing. Plato eventually seeks to show that someone with a healthy, harmonious soul wouldn't lie, kill, or steal, but most commentators consider his argument to that effect to be highly deficient. Aristotle is generally regarded as a virtue ethicist par excellence, but his account of justice as a virtue is less purely virtue ethical than Plato's because it anchors individual justice in situational factors that are largely external to the just individual. Situations and communities are just, according to Aristotle, when individuals receive benefits according to their merits, or virtue: those most
His was a more straight-forward view. Although both seem to possess logical arguments, there can be no gainsaying of the fact that they have two fundamentally different concepts about politics. The purpose of this paper is to explore the different perspectives of Socrates and Machiavelli. Socrates and Machiavelli introduce unique theories in the area of justice and politics in an attempt to influence the importance of social relationships in politics. Socrates believed in morality and ethics pertaining to politics and politics pertaining to the maintenance and purity of a person’s soul.
Cultural relativism is the idea that the moral principles someone has are solely determined by the culture one lives in. These ideas seem to make sense because we as a culture understand that the judgments people make in a different culture will differ from ours whether we choose to support it or not. Our culture has different moral judgments as well and does not look at something like killing someone for stealing as morally right since our culture values human life above theft. Cultural relativism does not exist because some principles are universal and not relative only to culture. People also have the ability to think morally for themselves so morality is relative to someone’s point of view.