Write a 2000-word essay on the following:
What was Machiavelli’s indictment of Christianity and the ethical teachings of the ancient political thinkers (Roman, but also Hellenistic and Greek)? What did his “new science of politics” claim to teach? Was he right? Did the Reformation have any answers to his criticisms? Have a thesis that makes an argument about Machiavelli’s indictment. (ex. “Machiavelli mischaracterized the ancient theorists, who argued that the state should serve virtuous ends, because of his deep-seated misogyny, which made it impossible to see that humans were capable of other-regarding actions.”) Be sure to include:
A. Using Volume 1 of Klosko’s History of Political Theory, describe how ancient theorists viewed the ends of the state and how citizens or rulers should act. You do not have to be exhaustive of all of the thinkers, just choose representative thinkers of the contrast (or comparison) you want to make.
B. Describe the role of Christianity and how it effected the obligations of the citizen or ruler. You may find a contrast of the different thinkers’ conceptions of “virtue” to be helpful.
C. Does this mean that Machiavelli was a “teacher of evil” as many thought (and still think today)?
The goal of this essay is to allow you to show what you read and to analyze the arguments of Machiavelli in reference to the thinkers that preceded him.