Political realist Machiavelli 1469-1527 (alter ego of Francis Bacon) antecedent Aquinas — Classical political philosophy: Xenophon (Socrates acolyte), Plato and Aristotle — the Socratic school of classical political philosophy, especially Aristotle, had become a major influence upon European political thinking in the late Middle Ages. It existed in the Catholicised form presented by Thomas Aquinas.

 

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Francis Bacon argued the case for what would become modern science which would be based more upon real experience and experimentation, free from assumptions about metaphysics, and aimed at increasing control of nature. He named Machiavelli as a predecessor

 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niccol%C3%B2_Machiavelli#Influences

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Machiavelli is the prototype of a modern empirical scientist, building generalizations from experience and historical facts, and emphasizing the uselessness of theorizing with the imagination.

He emancipated politics from theology and moral philosophy. He undertook to describe simply what rulers actually did and thus anticipated what was later called the scientific spirit in which questions of good and bad are ignored, and the observer attempts to discover only what really happens.
—Joshua Kaplan, 2005

Machiavelli felt that his early schooling along the lines of a traditional classical education was essentially useless for the purpose of understanding politics.   Nevertheless, he advocated intensive study of the past, particularly regarding the founding of a city, which he felt was a key to understanding its later development.  Moreover, he studied the way people lived and aimed to inform leaders how they should rule and even how they themselves should live. For example, Machiavelli denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. And Machiavelli viewed misery as one of the vices that enables a prince to rule.   Machiavelli stated that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved.   In much of Machiavelli’s work, it seems that the ruler must adopt unsavory policies for the sake of the continuance of his regime.

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A related and more controversial proposal often made is that he described how to do things in politics in a way which seemed neutral concerning who used the advice – tyrants or good rulers.

That Machiavelli strove for realism is not doubted, but for four centuries scholars have debated how best to describe his morality. The Prince made the word “Machiavellian” a byword for deceit, despotism, and political manipulation.

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That Machiavelli himself was not evil and indeed intended good, is on the other hand accepted.

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Leo Strauss, an American political philosopher, declared himself more inclined toward the traditional view that Machiavelli was self-consciously a “teacher of evil,” (even if he was not himself evil) since he counsels the princes to avoid the values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception.   Italian anti-fascist philosopher Benedetto Croce (1925) concludes Machiavelli is simply a “realist” or “pragmatist” who accurately states that moral values in reality do not greatly affect the decisions that political leaders make. German philosopher Ernst Cassirer (1946) held that Machiavelli simply adopts the stance of a political scientist—a Galileo of politics—in distinguishing between the “facts” of political life and the “values” of moral judgment.

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3 Responses to Political realist Machiavelli 1469-1527 (alter ego of Francis Bacon) antecedent Aquinas — Classical political philosophy: Xenophon (Socrates acolyte), Plato and Aristotle — the Socratic school of classical political philosophy, especially Aristotle, had become a major influence upon European political thinking in the late Middle Ages. It existed in the Catholicised form presented by Thomas Aquinas.

  1. Pingback: Augustinian mystic Martin Luther — Aquinas cognition John Calvin — and yet, Bertrand Russell & Apostle John are Augustinian & Plato logos (analytical) acolytes — huli ‘au (upside down in Hawaiian), baby!! | Curtis Narimatsu

  2. Pingback: Here we have Augustinian mystic Martin Luther — and Aquinas cognitive John Calvin — and yet, Bertrand Russell & Apostle John are Augustinian & Plato logos (analytical) epic movers — huli ‘au (upside down in Hawaiian), baby!

  3. Pingback: Here we have Augustinian mystic Martin Luther — and Aquinas cognitive John Calvin — and yet, Bertrand Russell & Apostle John are Augustinian & Plato logos (analytical) epic movers — huli ‘au (upside down in Hawaiian), baby!

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