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Machiavelli’s View of Human Nature

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Niccolo Machiavelli was a political philosopher from Florence Italy. He lived during the Italian Renaissance from May 1469 to 1527. This period in time that Machiavelli lived was the "rebirth" of art in Italy and rediscovery of ancient philosophy, literature and science.
Machiavelli’s philosophy about the nature of man is that man possesses both good and bad qualities, but will lean towards his own self-interests when all things are equal: thus man is a fickle creature. Machiavelli’s view of human nature influences his view of government.
     Machiavelli writes, “that man has qualities that will bring him either praise or blame” and because a prince is a man; therefore, he will also exhibit these qualities. A prince should put his good qualities on public display and be clever enough to hide his immoral failings from his subjects; but, if these vices are necessary to maintain his state, he should embrace them; because this appearance of a strong state by his subjects gives them a false sense of security.
     He states in paragraph fourteen that “since they (men) are a sad lot, and keep no faith with you, you in turn are under no obligation to keep it with them”. Machiavelli believes that men will lie, cheat, or steal if it has some benefit to them, and while a prince shows the...


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