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It is custom alone, which engages animals, from every object, that strikes their senses, to infer its usual attendant, and carries their imagination, from the appearance of the one, to conceive the other, in that particular manner, which we dominate belief. No other explication can be given of this operation, in all the higher, as well as lower classes of sensitive beings, which fall under our notice and observation. (Hume, David S. "Concerning Human Understanding" Section IX, 84.)
Machiavelli is naive, and in many ways promotes violence, if it justifies the ends to a means, "virtu". However, in so doing, he also exposes Monarchy as a fraud, and offers a way of separating morality or religion from politics. Politics is a cruel game, and sometimes politicians must lie in order to ensure the utilitarian good. Machiavelli warns that total honesty is not always what a good Prince needs to hear, but is a type of flattery that should be shunned. He writes: For there is no way to guard against flattery but by letting it be seen that you take no offence in hearing the truth: but when every one is free to tell you the truth, respect falls short. Wherefore a prudent Prince should follow a middle course, by choosing certain discreet men from among his subjects, and allowing them alone free leave to speak their minds on any matter on which he asks their opinion, and on none other. But he ought to ask their opinion on everything, and after hearing what they have to say, should reflect and judge for himself. (Machiavelli, The Prince. The Rennaissance Man, Edited by Daniel Fader, Gorlier: New York P. 113)
 
 
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Gabriella
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05/24/2017
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