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Throughout their writing careers great classical political theorists such as Plato and Aristotle have demonstrated great determination to the search for the right order Plato inspired by the teachings of Socrates turned to philosophy In honor of his beloved teacher Plato wrote dialogues recording Socrates public discussions with his fellow Athenians Aristotle saw political participation as an essential component of individual fulfillment and viewed the relationship between man and community to be the fundamental principle behind his personal political theory These men accepted essentialism endaimonia and natural law type virtue while classical philosophers thought in a utopian sense of perfect world modern philosophers such as Machiavelli tend to be more concerned with peace and order Machiavelli believed that a ruler should only be concerned with brute power and success Unlike Plato and Aristotle in his work The Prince Machiavelli is unique in his belief of ruthlessness as an essential component of statecraft to act benevolently would place the state at an unacceptable disadvantage In this paper I will argue that classical political theorists such as Aristotle and Plato would disapprove of Machiavellis notion of virtue Aristotle would view Machiavelli to be inefficient and reductionist occupied with promoting virtue and the pursuit of the good life Aristotle believes that mans end and well being is his utopian creation of endaimonia in order to achieve such place one must continually commit virtuous acts Thus an individuals own sense of morality and virtuosity guides him or her to endaimonia the pursuit of happiness Machiavelli strongly believes that politics should be kept separate from morality He argues that a Prince should have virtue to thrive and be successful while completely rethinking and revising his definition of virtuous For him it is no longer a question of morality how morally just or right you are as a ruler like Aristotle and Plato Rather in his mind virtuousness is manifest in the effectiveness and capability asserting through rule The
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