Philosophical studies have enabled the understanding of certain concepts that are useful in developing a comprehension into basic human interaction. One of the approaches is humanism, and the paper shall delve into based on the setting of the Renaissance period. Humanism as a concept functions based on the understanding or belief that humans individually, generally or collectively operate under the notion that rational thinking or experience as a source of knowledge as opposed to superstition or acceptance of dogma. In the essay, we shall dwell on the concept of humanism based on the renaissance period where we shall compare the theory of humanism as adopted by The Prince and that of the government where it relies on the presentation of Catholic dogma and divine authority.
In the Renaissance period, authority especially that of the rulers was the pillar of the society, and there were little contradictions regarding the perception of leadership on the subjects. The aspect of command leadership and following the laid-out rules played a significant part during the renaissance period. However, Machiavelli was of a different opinion after getting the opportunity to serve in various positions and some instances getting incarcerated. The notion of the government was based on divine authority where the leaders were focused on the assertion of power, fear and the rulers as the decision makers. In The Prince, Machiavelli developed a varying interpretation of the role of the leadership and the expectations of the subject. The Prince forwards the notion that the art of governing is not solemnly based on fear and respect for the administration by the need for the government to provide for the subjects. By applying the concept of humanism as presented by Machiavelli, there is a deviation of thought from that of divine authority and the recognition of the application of empiricism and rationalism.
The coming up of the ideology of Renaissance individualism is captured in The Price based on the relevance it had to the concept of humanism and its application to the art of governing. The Catholic dogma revolves around the creation of specific ideas that are considered binding to the people following the decree that “truth is revealed by God” and this is the foundation of human understanding. Machiavelli deviates from this concept in his comprehension of the art of governance where the philosophical theory of humanism sets the basis for the application of moral autonomy. Through the Catholic dogma, an individual lacks the free will to use logic in cases where there is a laid-out concept founded on the principles brought abought by governments based on religious doctrines. According to The Prince, Machiavelli emphasizes on the importance of an individual to avoid becoming a victim to indignities which emanates from following the crowd. In this case, we can relate this notion to that of the Catholic dogma which is rigid and does not accommodate the use of rationalism in decision making. The concept of humanism as presented in The Prince is one that seeks to establish a deviation from the art of governing of as supported by the pillars of the Catholic dogma.
The concept of humanism can be associated with Machiavelli where there was a growing need to deviate from the traditional position where wisdom was only attributed to specific figures in the society or institutions such as the government or religious installations such as the Catholic church. The Prince captures the notion of human dignity which maintained the element of human beings being in control and having the ability to decide their destiny and make choices. The art of governance proposed in The Prince is centered on the capacity to exercise freedom as opposed to the position of the government or Catholic dogma which bases its opinion on the possession of an immortal soul. The Prince advocates for leaders to embrace history and wisdom as the root to attaining achievements which are inclined towards the concept of humanism as the art of governance.
Going by the position of Machiavelli in The Prince, we see the preference of ambition above other qualities in the realm of leadership. By promoting ambition, The Prince can be seen to favor aspects such as innovation and risk-taking as the desirable qualities of leadership based on the ideology forwarded by Machiavelli. Through this position, Machiavelli insisted on princes to adopt the concept of humanism where the foundation of the belief was based on the ability to humans to maintain control of their future as a means of ensuring long-lasting control. The concept contradicts that of the government which is centered on divine authority where there is the absence of, and the control of the citizens is based on fear and imposition. Humanists were associated with the defiance of laws and traditions such as Catholic dogma. The element of governance in the context of The Prince was not unique to Machiavelli. The Prince approach to governance favored that of humanism where individual control of one’s which contrasted the aspect of “government as a divine authority and Catholic dogma.”
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