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The 17th and 18th centuries were a time of great political change in Europe - Research Paper Example

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These two theorists helped towards generation of traditional political realism. In order to come up with a good comparison between the realisms…
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The 17th and 18th centuries were a time of great political change in Europe
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The 17th and 18th centuries were a time of great political change in Europe

Download file to see previous pages... To begin with, Hobbes being a scholar, his main aim was to place politics on a scientific grip, hence employing a strict logical method to his work. In contrast, Machiavelli having worked as one of the civil servants of Florentine Republic drew his conclusions, after observing how people behaved instead of how they should behave in an intangible and hypothetical world2. It is this methodology difference, which leads to differing political views of these two authors.
Hobbes, writing Leviathan immediately after the end of civil war and unfruitful tries at republicanism in Europe, held less estimation of the nature of human beings that Machiavelli. According to Hobbes, if two individuals have desire of a certain thing, which they cannot enjoy at the same time, then they become enemies3. Hobbes argued that, people living in such state were continuously at war, and they could not differentiate between right and wrong. The two lived a life that was poor, solitary, short, brutish, and nasty. Resulting from his reductionist methodology, taking societal analysis to a position of human nature, he made his conclusion with a main realist assumption (anarchy). In such a state, every individual has his or her natural right for protection against injury or harm4. Therefore, Hobbes’s arguments purports that there must be fundamental laws to avoid the state of war. On contrary, Machiavelli does not reflect a theoretical state of nature like Hobbes. However, Machiavelli argues, “there is no secret hand, which brings human activities into natural harmony”.
Another factor differentiating these two political theorists is their diverging views about governance. According to Hobbes, it was the speculation on how a society functions without set rules. Hobbes felt that individuals would simply be doing things according to their own interests. Regarding how people should act, Hobbes makes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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