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After reading the assigned sections of The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and the assigned Confucian works pages 829-839, respond to 1 of the following questions, using specific examples and direct quotation from the reading to support your answer.
- Ruling the Kingdom, Ruling the Self: In the Confucian works, we find a very clear discussion of how good rule is something that works on multiple levels, from the self to the family to the nation. Looking at the assigned excerpts from Machiavelli, do you think his The Prince could be used in the same way? Could these principles for ruling a city-state well also be applied to ruling oneself well? Discuss at least one principle that you think could work, and one that could not as you give your overall evaluation of the work.
- The Time that Binds: Consider either Machiavelli’s The Prince or the assigned Confucian works. Is this text limited by the particular time and place in which it was written, or can it still be seen as a useful model in our time? Why or why not?
- The Role of Religion:What is the role of religion in these two texts? It is more similar or more different, and why?
- Judging the Advisor:Last week we talked about the cultural values that seemed to govern Dante’s decisions about who went where in Hell. Consider either Machiavelli’s ideal Prince or Confucius’ ideal Self in relation to Dante’s moral framework. Do you think the figure you chose would end up in Dante’s Hell? If so, where? Be sure to include a brief description of the figure you are evaluating so that we all have the same basic person in mind.