In Machiavelli’s book, The Prince, he maintains a harsh perspective on reality. His advice on how to maintain power leaves no room for compassion or generousity. While some may believe that these are qualities of a good person, Machiavelli believes these qualities lead to the downfall of rulers. He acknowledges that, in reality, it is impossible for someone to have qualities of a good person and simultaneously a good ruler. Machiavelli’s realistic outlook causes him to emphasize that it is better to maintain power through fear, rather than compassion.
From the Apology, Plato shows how Socrates was unyielding in his morals. Any sensible person would have taken the choice to evade death and accepted the ignorant life was the best. However, Socrates defies this by stating the conjecture to the court that to fall to the swift wickedness is worse than death. With this, Plato is defining the logic of Socrates soul is right rather than the evident fact of what the court laws describe. In his passage of Crito, Plato examines the thought of honor in following through one’s own promise.
In Socrates’ first speech, he regards the rational non-lover as the superior, as they will never be tempted into shameful acts. He wishes to leave, but realizes it is foolish, and sees a daemon (a warning personified) so he corrects his mistake in the second speech. The lover can become holy, even more than the lover, but that comes with risks. They can only be holy with self restraint, without going too far. We can see the parallel with Equus, much like Socrates, Dysart and society in general are seen as the norm and most successful, but Alan forces us to reconsider that, and shows us the flaws in Dysart and society’s values.
In The Republic, Plato writes about his thoughts on good, justice, and how we can achieve it. He starts off by stating that for human happiness and to live the best life philosopher-kings are needed. Not everyone can become a philosopher; certain people simply are non-philosophers also called lovers of sights and sounds. Plato makes the distinction between lovers of wisdom(philosophers) and lovers of sights and sounds clear using beauty as an example. Non-philosophers see ''fine tones and colours and forms and all the artificial products that are made out of them''(476b) but are unable to see or to understand absolute beauty.
This notion of equality appropriates the language of America’s founders, but it nevertheless strikes at the heart of the founders’ understanding of equality, which was based on equality of rights. For the founders understood that equality of outcome is impossible and undesirable, given the different abilities with which each person is born. Global inequality is getting worse. Inequality will not disappear overtime, and on the other hand it all depends on the balance of political power in the global economy. As long as a few wealthier countries have the power to set the rules to their own advantage, inequality will continue to worsen.
Early in the Prince, Machiavelli states, “I will simply conclude by saying that a ruler needs to have the support of the populace, for otherwise he has nothing to fall back on in times of adversity” (pg.25). In addition, he states “people judge by outcome” in chapter eighteen (pg.37). Looking at these statements, the prince is heavily reliant on the support of the populace, and this support is derived from the prince’s ability to provide outcomes to his actions that benefit the society. Therefore, it is necessary to draw this distinction between lying and deception that benefit the public good, or endangers the
Rousseau, Hobbes and Locke are mainly renowned for their masterpieces on political philosophy, Rousseau’s On the Social Contract, Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Two Treatise of Government. Each has very unique concepts of a social contract. However, they all retain the idea that people in a State of Nature would be willing to compromise their liberty for state protection (Kelly, 2004). Even though they accept that the State of Nature is to a certain degree chaotic, Locke’s State of Nature is far more optimistic, which shows his faith in natural law. Rousseau also describes a scenario where the original freedom, happiness, equality and liberty which used to exist in primitive societies prior to the social contract were lost in the modern civilisation.
According to Socrates man is inherently good and wrong decision come from unawareness because human do not know what is good - this idea is called ethical intellectualism. What is more virtue is equal to knowledge - so we are able to learn for example justice, bravery etc. Philosopher claimed also that the most important way to know the world is mind. According to him we do not knowing the thing but only the idea of this thing, therefore very important is to define as closely as possible things. Regarding to the God Socrates believed in daimonion (protective goddess) which every man has inside.
This will ensure that democracy will live and prosper. Dictators and those others, who choose to rule not through love, compassion and understanding, will face subjugation if democratic means are upheld. Violence can get the better of some people for all time and all people for sometime but not all people for all time. Those who make false promises and instigate innocent people to serve their own selfish interests cannot win in the long term. Dictatorship supresses while democracy nurtures, so in the interest of the world at large it is our duty to uphold democratic values.
In todays world there is a distinct gap which separates virtue (ethics) from politics. For instance, the two distinct areas are not usually studied together, but are mostly separated from one another. This is far different than Aristotle’s approach in which he grouped both areas together because he felt that they are both practical sciences concerned with good action. Nicomachean Ethics is where his beliefs come to the forefront, with his connection of politics and virtue. He argues that all of the sciences are put to use in political science, which make it the master of promoting human good.