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Political Science

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Political science midterm notes
Machiavelli
“He instructed the prince to think about politics in new ways and to reject notions of morality and ethics that blind leaders to the truth about effective leadership” (Dooley and Patten 57).
“In his view, it is no more sinful for people to seek power and pursue self-interest than it is sinful for the earth to orbit the sun. The new empirical prince must understand that people will only follow if they perceive it to be in their best interest to do so” (D& P 58).
“Machiavelli contended it is better to be feared because the prince is better able to control those who fear him than those who love him, as “men love at their own free will, but fear at the will of the prince . . . a wise prince must rely on what is in his power and not on what is in the powers of others”. Fear, for Machiavelli, is a strong and long-lasting emotion, whereas the love emotion is occasionally fickle—here today and at times gone tomorrow” (D & P 60).
“Machiavelli directs the prince to only ‘take the life’ of someone when there is ‘proper justification and manifest reason for it,’ and when using violence to do so swiftly and brutally because people ‘will revenge themselves for small injuries, but cannot do so for great ones.’” (D & P 61).
“A wise prince should furthermore impose all necessary pain early in his tenure and in one fell swoop, rather than spread small doses of pain over a long period of time” (61)
“…inflicting necessary injury on subjects is better applied with swift and overpowering force”(61).
“He specifically directs that ‘ injuries should be committed all at once, that the last being the less…but benefits should be distilled in drops’”(61).
Plato
‘For plato, only those with a perfect understanding of justice should lead the republic because only they will truly appreciate the need to pursue the public good” (38).
“Plato’s theory of forms reveals his dualistic vision of the universe that distinguishes between: 1. The world of appearances (i.e., things we can see) and 2. The intelligible world (i.e., things beyond our physical senses)” (39).
“The important point is that Plato employs the theory of forms to demonstrate a larger belief that there is such a thing as an ultimate objective truth, or a way we ought to be” (39).

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