Descartes And Human Nature In Machiavelli's The Prince

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Machiavelli was the first philosopher to develop a political theory, which emerged through his work The Prince. In this work Machiavelli believes that many traits are contained with the realm of human nature. He states that all people are generally self-interested and that they are even easily persuaded. He states that, “the nature of the people is variable, and whilst it is easy to persuade them, it is difficult to fix them in that persuasion And thus it is necessary to take such measures that, when they believe no longer, it may be possible to make them believe by force” (26, Machiavelli). In this quote Machiavelli is referencing the various traits he attributes to human nature and how they justify political actions to be taken by the Prince,…show more content…
He knows himself as “subject to an infinitude of errors” (20, Descartes) but then begins to question how it is possible that he makes errors after being the product of a non-deceiving God. After deliberating this thought, Descartes comes to the realization that the errors he makes are due to a lack of something such as intellect that is a result of his lack of perfection and is not a result of something God has attributed to him. With this goes along with the idea that everything God creates, because he is infinite, is perfect and because Descartes is finite there will always be room for error. However, a main attribute God has given him that is the closest attribute of resemblance to God is that of free will. It is the misuse of this free will that leads to error due to the fact that Descartes does not fully understand it; therefore free will “easily falls into error and sin and chooses the evil for the good or the false for the true” (21, Descartes). This shows Descartes that error is the result of judgments made by the use of free will regarding things that are not yet understood

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