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Managerial Philosophy

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By timowili
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FOUNDATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT THOUGHT

TOPIC

“What is important about any philosophy is not what is explains, but what it assumes”. Discuss this question critically and provide examples of assumptions which underpin Machiavellian & Platonic philosophies.

In this paper I will discuss the assumptions which underpin Machiavellian & Platonic philosophies in reference to The Republic and The Prince. My position is that both Machiavallian and Plantonic philosophies make assumptions in exemplifying their notions. Machiavelli’s is intentional while Plato’s is unintentional. Also both philosophies through their assumptions sometimes contradict each other. Well expressed

In discussing his notion above it is important to understand the basic theory and ideas of Machiavelli and Plato. Both Machiavelli and Plato produce arguments for order in the state but they have different notions of how to go about order. Plato obsesses with certainty and has an ideal form of order, while order with Machiavelli is learning to live with uncertainty. Machiavelli believes we need to be able to work with insecurity and not try and produce certainty. He believes we embrace uncertainty by developing our own armour. Knowledge is the basis of leadership for Plato while Power is the basis of leadership for Machievelli.

In the Republic the Allegory of the Cave represents Plato's views on philosophy. Basically, we are all in the cave and Philosophy is what brings us out of the cave. Plato believes that Philosophy is the highest form of inquiry, just because it alone involves no presuppositions. I do not believe this to be true because The Allegory presents, in brief form most of Plato's major philosophical assumptions. Meaning of statement is not clear Examples of these assumptions are his belief that the world revealed by our senses is not the real world but only a poor copy of it, and that the real world can only be apprehended intellectually. He does provide argument for it eg cganging nature of things as appearances Another assumption is that knowledge cannot be transferred from teacher to student, but rather that education consists in directing student's minds toward what is real and important and allowing them to apprehend it for themselves. As a result, this assumption discounts experience and dismisses the knowledge acquired in formal settings. You need to consider Plato’s arguments As an engineer I tend not to agree with this notion as it undermines science or mathematics. In my opinion scientific accomplishments cannot be achieved via Plato’s perceived ideas or assumptions on knowledge. Most engineers or scientist view mathematical proof as the certificate guaranteeing trustworthiness of, and formulating the nature of, the building-blocks of the systems that comprise our constructions. Without this proof there are no building-blocks, no systems. My feeling, when I read Plato’s account of knowledge is that unless such issues regarding the nature of proof are addressed and conscientiously examined, I am getting a superficial account of the philosophical position. I also argue that experience should not be overlooked as it enhances knowledge and belief.
Unlike Machiavelli, Plato also assumes that the universe ultimately is good and he is convinced of the ultimately harmonious structure of the universe.

When looking at Machiavellian Philosophy we find that the major assumptions that underpin the philosophy can be derived from Machiavelli book the Prince. Not necessariy the case …. In fact he changed his thinking after the PrinceThe Prince was ground-breaking because Machiavelli described the world as he saw it. In the prince we find that it logically considers or postulates Metaphysical, anthropological and epistemological assumptions. I think the main assumption that forms the basis for Machiavellian philosophy is the Anthropological (human nature) assumption. This is one area where that differentiates Machiavelli’s theories from Plato. Machiavelli’s theories are based on the premise that a ruler must base policies on people’s true nature. This sets the stage for his assumption on the existence of human nature. He assumes that all men irrespective of environment would act in a similar way. He further proposes that in their actions, men are selfish and self-aggrandizing. One can only conclude that he assumes that human nature is inherent in men at birth i.e. we are born selfish and self-aggrandizing. This notion is opposed by those who believe that human nature is inherently good and those that posit that there is no such thing as human nature. Those that believe in the goodness of man as I do, can argue that the only reason why there is evil on earth is that men are not given the opportunity to exude goodness. For example whereas a man with no means would be ‘forced’ to steal to survive would in view of this theory be excusable but it cannot explain how one with so much would steal more of what he has.
In addition Machiavelli’s assumption about reality, that material goods is all that there are and ideals are not real, is metaphysical. He presumes Reality does not include ideals, goods, or values. Values are not objectively real. Reality consists only of material facts.
Machiavelli never provides and argument. He has a reason for not giving arguments because he believes theoretical reasoning is in the way of a leader hence he intentionally assumes. Good While Plato is trying not to assume anything, Plato makes the claim that philosophy can explain all of its assumptions. Plato believes that the philosopher has direct access to 'true Reality,' as distinct from the ordinary world of ever-changing things. That is precisely why he can offer the final criticism of received opinions and by having direct access to reality, he has no need of assumptions. Plato is wrong. Philosophy does not always explain its assumptions. Every examination assumes something it doesn't explain.
In conclusion Platonic and Machiavellian philosophies are based on certain assumptions about human nature and the world around us, some of which are undeniable and some of which are incomplete. This does not necessarily invalidate their conclusions, but it is essential to examine all the underlying ideas that motivate each particular statement. This is a central feature of the analysis of any work of philosophy, and not unique to the Republic and The Prince

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