In this paper I will compare the views of realism of Thomas Hobbes and Niccolo Machiavelli. For Brown et al. (2002) “(it) is … Machiavelli, who along with Hobbes, helped to generate the tradition of political realism.” In order to compare their views effectively I will first look at the different methods, which they employed, after which I will explain how this difference created the divergent view of human nature. It is this view, which underlies their belief of anarchy, a key realist assumption. Due to word constraints I cannot fully explain their varying views in governance; however, I will tackle this aspect from two points of view: morality and self-interest.
The first comparison I feel relevant between Hobbes and Machiavelli is the difference in methods employed by each of these realists. Firstly, Hobbes was a scholar, whose aim was to put politics onto a scientific footing; he therefore employed a strict logical approach to his work. In contrast, Machiavelli was a man of action; he worked, primarily, as a civil servant of the Florentine Republic. He drew conclusions, having made observations of how people actually behaved rather than the way they ought to behave in a…show more content… In both The Prince and Discourses, Machiavelli tried to draw conclusions from factual observations of what people actually did; the empirical or inductive method. For Walle (2001) Machiavelli, above all else, was a humanistic empiricist who, instead of making unwarranted assumptions about human behaviour, applied the empirical method combined with a humanistic vision in order to analyse people and their actions on their own terms. Machiavelli believed that empirical descriptive study was crucial, and normative conclusions followed