Machiavelli S Concept of Virtue and Free Will

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Machiavelli’s concept of free will can be described by using two words. The words fortune and prowess are consistently and commonly referenced through his most iconic piece of writing are. fortune and prowess are used to express the two ways in which a prince can rise to power. He alludes to prowess describing it as an individual’s unique set of skills, while fortune suggests that things happen due to luck or coincidence. Machiavelli wrote The Prince with a partial intent to explore how much success or failure is caused by the person in the position of powers own free will. He goes into the idea of how much is determined by nature (not god) or the environment in which the prince lives.

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Before it was made an adage the saying history tends to repeat itself was a huge influence on Machiavelli. While it is impossible to keep the earths tectonic plates from shifting, one can take steps to lessen the earthquakes destructive power. Machiavelli rebukes Italian rulers who failed to protect their kingdom against inevitable changes in fortune. Machiavelli discusses the role of fortune in determining human decisions and interactions. Machiavelli also argues that through foresight people can see themselves against fortune’s vicissitudes. He attempts to find middle ground between the idea of free will and predestination by quarreling that at least half of human actions are controlled by fortune and insinuates the other half to one’s own free will. However, Machiavelli seems to have faith in the power of free will and how someone can shape their fate; to a degree.

A huge premise in the prince Is Machiavelli’s belief that good laws follow naturally from a strong military. One of his most iconic quotes the presence of sound military forces indicates the presence of sound laws describes the relationship between developing states and war in The Prince. Machiavelli’s description of war includes more than just brute and direct use of military force, it encompasses knowledge of geography, domestic politics, international diplomacy, battle tactics, contemplation, strategy, and especially historical analysis. There is context given to us by Machiavelli when he describes Italy. In Italy when its cities were constantly under siege and being threatened by neighboring city-states and the land surrounding them had suffered through conflicts of power for a multitude of years. He had a very modern and innovative way to politically think. His method was the observation of basically every single affair of state through a militaristic point of view.

There had always been a conventional understanding of war as a necessity, utilizing the prince Machiavelli attempts to elaborate this ideology, by stating war at times is a necessary course of action, but it should not be considered a definitive one. If it is done in excess or in the wrong way it will hinder the development of states and would lead to failure. Instead he avows that war; if successfully utilized, is the foundation upon which all states are built. Much of The Prince is devoted to describing an idiot’s guide to conducting good war. He goes into: how to treat the people who reside in newly attained lands, how to efficiently reinforce a city that Italy “is a country without embankments and without dykes,” to which he attributes her present problems. If Italy “had been adequately reinforced, like Germany, Spain, and France, then the floods that currently torment it would not have proved so destructive. Lastly, he says how to prevent domestic insurrection that would drastically take away from what he considers a successful war.

Remarkably, Machiavelli’s concept of free will refutes the idea that all events “are controlled by luck or fortune, instead it argues that when it comes to any person, they influence at least half of their fate. While Machiavelli acknowledges the power of chance, he limits the impact of God and fortune. A very blunt but valid and rational statement; hints that deep down he may have some humanist thoughts. Machiavelli had the theory, which practically divides environmental factors evenly between a person’s free will and the decisions they make, this shows continuity with his other statements regarding the amalgamation of opposites. Machiavelli urges rulers to take precautions against the volatility of fortune. The prince should do his absolute best to prepare for unanticipated calamities. A prince must fortify his state with legal and military “embankments.”

When Machiavelli refers to the temperament of the prince, virtue or virtu (in Italian) is used in particular. He gives us a multitude of examples of how virtue can act as a double-edged sword. He writes that in new principalities, where there is a new prince, one encounters more of less difficulty in maintaining them according to whether the one who acquires them is more or less virtuous. And because the result of becoming a prince from private individual presupposes either virtue or fortune, it appears that one or the others of these two things relieves in part many difficulties; nonetheless, ho who has relied less on fortune has maintained himself more.

Hundreds of thousands of people invests a lot of or even their entire life savings into the stock market. Of those who have had success and made a lot more money than they put in, had success as a result of their virtue. Be it some complex combination of skill and disposition, people who were not fortunate will find that it is much easier to maintain their success than those who were blessed enough to get lucky, or that their success was a result of their networks and connections but not their virtue. In reality it is not as easy to differentiate those investors who were simply lucky or well connected, especially in certain types of markets. Regardless it often appears to be the case that these lucky people who invested at the right time and in the right place are only discovered to be so after it is too late.

As it is said, it’s only until only the tide pulls back then you see those who are swimming naked. Due to maintaining success for a very long time by making the right decisions is one of the biggest allegories of the prince, both for Machiavelli’s prince and for the many people who invested in stocks, one must try to understand the role of virtue. This is why to Niccol?? Machiavelli virtue and free will have a closer connection that people think. It can be common to confuse the two. A prince can be virtuous and have everything fall into place like dominos, or he can struggle his entire life constantly having to make the hardest choices. Looking back you can never tell who was lucky and who wasn’t, but what you can tell is that each and everyone of them made their own decisions which led them half way to their fate.

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Machiavelli s concept of virtue and free will. (2019, Aug 12). Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from

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