POLI 231 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Human Nature, Halfway House

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Machiavelli cont"d: agathocles acquires empire, but not glory, must avoid being hated, better to be feared than loved. Fear: you control if others fear you or not: why he advises limiting cruelty, people will conspire against you, or not give you glory if you are hated, war: strike quickly, but don"t over-extend. Critical analysis of the argument: account of human nature, there is great difficulty when explaining events with this premise. Danger of arguing in a circle: normative theory"s evidence is the same as the theory: is behaviour natural or constructed, fundamental difference of natural vs. social sciences, social: difficulty in predicting the future. Everyone believes in some sort of ethics: systematically evaluating things as you go, study: tries to give theory of coherence, reasons for why something is right/wrong. Interested in the theory of the good, not the right. Structures of the theory of the good: answers: what thing has ultimate value, requires distinction between goods.

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