Niccolo Machiavelli was a political scientist who was truly ahead of his time. As I am sure that he had read all of the great philosophers before him, in contrast to Aristotle, he was a pragmatic and practical realist. Whereas I found Aristotle to be more of an idealist who wished the world would come to a state of understanding and cooperation by putting into practice his concepts of government.
Labeled the “modern political scientist” by many, Machiavelli used a very scientific means in “The Prince” to explore the subject of politics in regard to principalities. Since this was his focus he chose to exclude mention of other forms of government. He framed his arguments around facts and meticulously presented them in small sections in order to pick apart even the minutest detail. Both he and Aristotle used similar methods to extract and present the material to the reader in a logical format using questions, hypothesis, research, testing of the hypothesis, analyzing data, and forming a conclusion. There is no doubt in my mind that Machiavelli studied Aristotle’s writing, (as well as many others), thoroughly before writing himself.
In writing “The Prince,” Machiavelli’s intention was to help guide the current ruler of Florence, Lorenzo De Medici, (Machiavelli, 1), into a style of rule “where a principality can be governed and maintained,” (Machiavelli, 6), using methods that Machiavelli describes in depth throughout his manuscript. This incredible book has of course survived well past his time and benefited many rulers and powerful people today. It sets important guidelines for politics, business, and leadership in general because the issues that are discussed within the text can be applied to everyday situations when dealing with groups of people.
Machiavelli’s concept of politics is not one that states a ruler need be considerate, nor one that cares of the morality of his choices in dealing with any issue concerning his domain. Nor is it to worry...