Compare and Contrast Machiavelli and Max Weber

Essay by Rilavine December 2013

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Machiavelli and Weber: Comparing Political Philosophies

Moses Tee

University of Alberta

November 7th 2013

Philosophy is referred to as a set of beliefs, concepts and attitudes held by an individual or a group of people. It is the study of problems in general and the prescription of solutions to problems based on critical and systemic analyses and the employment of rational argument. Philosophy through the lens of Political Science does so as mentioned above in terms of the state, the governance of the state the ethics of an individual in possession of political power. Political philosophers focus on the issues relating to the state, such as political action that need or need not be taken and the general behavior of a given individual involved in politics. With the focus set on just the state, political action and violence, two philosophers have critically analyzed politics through the three concepts listed above: Niccolo Machiavelli and Max Weber.

They each have their own views, opinions and suggestions that both have similarities and differences considering the cultural and temporal inconsistency between the both of them. The fact that some of their ideas intersect is fascinating.

Niccolo Machiavelli, known as the founding father of modern Political Science, lived between 1469 and 1752 in Florence in what is known today as Italy. He is not only known for his work in politics and diplomacy, as he was also a well-versed historian. He employed the method of citing historic figures and events in his justification for the suggestions he made in his famous book: The Prince. In the book that was dedicated to Lorenzo Medici, Machiavelli raises many important aspects relating to the political environment, governance and ethics of an individual in possession of political power citing political actions that should and should not be...