Rationality is the criterion of intellectual truth accepted by many thinkers that is not a feature of a particular philosophy. It requires differences in views when intellect recognizes the truth along with others, reasonably considered to be the only important criterion. Many philosophical trends, including rationality, originate from the philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. He believed that before to explore the world people have to know themselves. Rationalism is not merely an intellectual method, but also the way that changes the perception of the world and human nature. A rational person sees the world through the prism of spiritual development and sees not only the appearance but also the essence of things. Many philosophers tried to clear rational soul from the shackles and connect it with the rational, to overcome the spiritual disorders and rise above the physical circumstances of life, creating the basis for moral development.
Niccolo Machiavelli, an Italian thinker, philosopher, writer, and politician was born in Florence in a secular lawyer family in 1469 (Plamenatz, Philp, and Pelczynski 78). In his treatise, The Prince, Machiavelli described the methodology of the seizure of power, the methods of the Board and skills necessary for an ideal ruler (Plamenatz et al. 80). It was a fundamental work of his time that systematized the information about the state and its governance. The principles described in this book are relevant in modern politics too. The first book contains a description of the principles how to come to power and retain the monarchy and the republic. Machiavelli described the options how to come to power, considering them as luck (the skillful use of coincidences), valor, meanness or crime, as well as the selection of the solution groups: the people or the elite. He wrote how to capture the throne, methods to hold tyrannical power, and personal qualities of character that should have the prince.
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Machiavelli was one of the few figures of the Renaissance, who raised the questin of the role of a person of a ruler. Machiavelli put in philosophy the question of the relationship between moral standards and political expediency. He was the author of the idea of universal conscription. According to Machiavelli, the most viable states in the history of the civilized world were those whose citizens had the highest degree of freedom, self-determining their fate (Plamenatz et al. 87). He believed that independence, power, and greatness of the ideal state, can be reached by any means without thinking about the moral case activities and civil rights. Machiavelli’s studies were perceived with great enthusiasm, and they received enormous success among contemporaries. His views and activities were called Machiavellianism. It was a system of policies that did not neglect any one of the ways to achieve goals regardless of their compliance with ethical standards (Plamenatz et al. 100).
Thomas Hobbes was born in 1679, in England (Muhlmann 45). He is a classic representative of the English philosophy of the English Revolution period. Hobbes developed the rationalist philosophy that included not only the theory of being but also knowledge and theory of society and the state. The formation of Hobbes views was formed under the influence of Bacon, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, and Kepler. Muhlmann assumes that the thinker is famous for his theory of rational knowledge that was outlined in his work Leviathan, published in 1651 (46-48). Actually, Hobbes has written this study under the influence of the English Civil War of that time. Since then, Leviathan has become a scientific guide for those who composed legitimate government. He also was the author of other books that demonstrated his vies upon society.
The starting position of Hobbes’s reasoning about society and the state is the concept of “natural condition of people.” The introduction of this concept enabled the philosophy to create the first abstract ideal model of society. Many studies suggested that this concept could be used as a comparative benchmark for fixing the similarities and differences between the different states of society, the state and so on (Muhlmann 57). The natural state of men, described by Hobbes, was the ability to prevent some people in achieving their goals to others. It is this situation of persons who can set goals and act of reaching results in the natural hidden war between all people. Hobbes created the first complete system of mechanical materialism that met the requirements of nature and natural history of that period. Hobbes distinguished length, really characteristic of bodies and space as the image created by the mind (fantasy).
John Locke is another English philosopher who lived in the 17th-18th centuries. He was famous for his ideas of liberalism and empiricism. He resisted the divine right of kings, denied the existence of innate ideas, and he was an opponent of religious intolerance. The philosopher formed his own theory of ideas, the state structure and the theory of knowledge. Many findings reveal that Locke was often called the intellectual leader of the 18th century and the first philosopher of the Enlightenment (Honneth 123). He made a great impact into the development of social philosophy, and his ideas were taken into consideration by the developers of the American constitution. His way of reasoning differed from the thinking of the medieval philosophers. He had no patience to understand the intricacies of the Christian religion. Locke did not believe in miracles and disgusted attitude toward mysticism.
In the 17th century, John Locke wrote the most important work for the political philosophy of modern work entitled Two Treatises of Government (Broome 124). In The Second Treatise of Civil Government, he described the experience of the true origin, scope and the purpose of civil government. The main merit of Locke in the history of philosophy is that he first drew attention to the origin, development and scope of human knowledge and the study of this question, introducing a purely psychological method. According to his theory, a person’s ideas are gained with experience, and they are not innate.