Hi for this research paper you will be discussing the Comparison of Lung Cancer Between America and China and their Remedies in the 19th Century-21st Century.
Cancer, in general, has been a deadly disease and still is very fatal to this day. There were descriptions of cancer that traced all the way back to 1600 BCE from Ancient Egypt, but the history of lung cancer goes from not too long ago and was considered to be a distinct disease in 1761. During this time, medicine was on the rise because of the recently discovered germ theory which was a huge advancement in the world’s medicine as a whole and also a stepping point into modern medicine and lung cancer. Lung Cancer is very important and has been recognized by many countries as a very fatal disease. When it comes to lung disease some, symptoms follow from lung cancer such as coughing up blood, chest pain, persistent cough, fatigue, and many more. Unfortunately, there is no set cure for lung cancer but there are many treatments that have been proven to be somewhat effective and the main modern treatments for lung cancer are chemotherapy. The evolution of lung cancer in such a short period from its first discovery has advanced very far. When first discovered the death rate for lung cancer seemed to be almost 100 percent but due to new technology and advancements average death rate between men and women who contract lung cancer is roughly 50 percent which is still high but when compared to previous times this is a huge improvement. There are two countries in particular that I am going to be going over for this research paper. I will start by discussing the comparison in lung cancer and its treatments from China and the Western World and what future advancements will be coming toward lung cancer remedies. Also, whether these new remedies truly are beneficial to the patient or if it could potentially harm them even further. Between these two countries, their highest rates of cancer, unfortunately, is lung cancer with lung cancer affecting roughly 17 percent of all cancer patients in the Western World and 22 percent in China. As to the way lung cancer has played a significant role in society is that it brought awareness to physicians about what could be the cause of such a horrible disease, how it is contracted in the first place, and what are preventative steps that must be taken to action. The periods that I will be focusing on will be between the 20th century and the present-day 21st century. I will be covering what differences in medical practices that physicians in the Western World use to treat lung cancer and how Chinese physicians use to treat lung cancer as well as point out famous contributors to the advancement of treatment from renowned physicians from both sides. Such as the german physician Fritz Lickint who was the first to recognize the connection between smoking and lung cancer which had then led to a nationwide movement supporting anti-tobacco throughout the nation. Also, another notable physician was Paul Ehrlich who invented the use of Chemotherapy in the early 20th century. An important question that is going to be discussed throughout this research paper is what are the comparisons in the treatments for Lung Cancer between the Western World and China the 20th-21th Century, what did they agree and disagree on?
Make sure you answer this question. throughout the research paper:  An important question that is going to be discussed throughout this research paper is what are the comparisons in the treatments for Lung Cancer between the Western World and China the 20th-21th Century, what did they agree and disagree on?
Here are some sources that I have found: feel free to use these but if you use other sources make sure they are credible primary sources:
Huilan, Zhu, and Wang Zhiming.(1993) “Study of Occupational Lung Cancer in Asbestos Factories in China.” British Journal of Industrial Medicine 50, no. 11: 1039-042. 
Cartman, M. L., A. C. Hatfield, M. F. Muers, M. D. Peake, R. A. Haward, and D. Forman.(2002) “Lung Cancer: District Active Treatment Rates Affect Survival.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1979-) 56, no. 6 : 424-29. 
Silvestri, Gerard A, Anthony J Alberg, and James Ravenel. (2009) “The Changing Epidemiology of Lung Cancer with a Focus on Screening.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 339, no. 7718 : 451-54. 
Proctor, Robert N. ( 2008) “The Nazi Campaign against Tobacco: Science in a Totalitarian State.” In Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices, Legacies, edited by Nicosia Francis R. and Huener Jonathan, 40-58. Berghahn Books
Nur, Ula, Manuela Quaresma, Bianca De Stavola, Michael Peake, and Bernard Rachet. (2015) “Inequalities in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment and Mortality.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1979-) 69, no. 10: 985-92. 
Neal, Richard D, William Hamilton, and Trevor K Rogers. (2014). “Lung Cancer.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 349 
He, Xingzhou, Wei Chen, Ziyuan Liu, and Robert S. Chapman.(1991) “An Epidemiological Study of Lung Cancer in Xuan Wei County, China: Current Progress. Case-Control Study on Lung Cancer and Cooking Fuel.” Environmental Health Perspectives 94 : 9-13.
Tse, Lap Ah, Ignatius Tak-sun Yu, Hong Qiu, Joseph Siu Kai Au, and Xiao-rong Wang.(2011) “A Case-Referent Study of Lung Cancer and Incense Smoke, Smoking, and Residential Radon in Chinese Men.” Environmental Health Perspectives 119, no. 11 : 1641-646. 
I have taken another version of this class before with the same professor and did a very similar assignment. I have my previous research paper that I received an A on it and would like if the paper that is going to be written be written in the same format style. 
Also here is another outline for the research paper:
13-15 Pages


Scope: time span and the location 
Of the different cultures
State research question
Thesis statement: answer the research question


Example: social aspect or political aspect of the topic

Main text / Body Paragraphs

Pictures may be used

Also can be used to help show evidence

Evidence 1
2-3 pages for each topic for the evidence

Make a claim for the evidence and use quotes to support that. 
When going to next paragraph add a good transition

Evidence 2
Evidence 3
Evidence and so on
Make sure not to add irrelevant aspects 
IN TEXT CITATION (Last name year, p.#) 


Restate thesis statements 
Summarize what had been said 
VERY IMPORTANT At least use one of the 3 trends of scholarships in the conclusion:

What is the nature of knowledge?
What are the modes of knowledge production?
What is the way knowledge is transmitted?
Choose at least one maybe even two

Evaluation: further research of relevant times

Works Cited / Bibliography
Must be author and date style
Chicago style 

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. 2015. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Smith, Zadie. 2016. Swing Time. New York: Penguin Press.
Make sure the citation and everything is Chicago style and that any footnotes added must be a further  explanation and not a place for citation.

So below is the attached file of my previous final which is very similar.History 179A
December 2, 2019
Comparison of Patient and Physician Relationship in Islamic Medicine and Jewish
Esmaeilzadeh 2
Introduction: Patient and Physician Care and Relationship: Then and Now
The history of patient and physician relationship goes as far back as the beginning of the
creation of Greek medicine and continued in the practice of Islamic medicine around 500 BCE.
During this time, Islamic medicine was the most modern and advanced Patient and Physician
relationship (Zunic et al 2014, 75). This was regarded as very important and has been recognized
by many countries. When it comes to Physicians, there are many standards and rules that they
must attain and follow to maintain their status and be trusted in the eyes of the people. Such as in
Islamic culture and religious tradition, two strangers from the opposite sex are not allowed to
come into contact with each other; however, a physician is given permission whenever deemed
necessary as part of the treatment process (Padela & del Pozo 2008, 4). Ibn Sina 1, a very famous
physician gave the quote stating, “The art whereby health is conserved and the art whereby it is
restored, after being lost.” (Lyons nd, internet ref). This is especially important when it comes to
Islamic Medicine and Jewish Medicine. Hence, the evolution and new rules of Patient and
Physician relationships have impacted many societies varying on their location, religion, and
culture. This Patient-Physician relationship, through its evolution and being influenced by
different cultures and traditions, has become a very important aspect in the field of medicine and
effective delivery of patient care and healthcare services (Padela & del Pozo 2008, 4).
1 Abu Ali Al-Hussein
Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina, also known in the Western regions as Avicenna, is
famously known for his contributions in Islamic and European medicine as one of the greatest
and most eminent Muslim physicians whose influences reigned for centuries
Esmaeilzadeh 3
From this viewpoint, this paper argues how Patient-Physician Relationship2 has changed
over time and how it has affected the perspectives of the patients regarding the physicians and
other practitioners. This would result in an assessment of the said relationship and the system to
fully comprehend and know whether there is a need to change in this field of medicine and
Patient-Physician Relationship. The paper focuses on the period between 900AD to 1100 AD and
covers Ibn Sina’s contribution to Patient and Physician as well as some scholars in Jewish
Medicine in support of this era of medicine. Moreover, the paper will also be covering the
development of Patient and Physician relationships in the Islamic World and Judaism World and
how these rules and roles were utilized to treat diseases during these eras in the respective
societies. Specifically, rules from the Islamic world and Judaism world shall be discussed
regarding their differences or similarities with regards to the way they treat their patients and
how they conduct the whole treatment process. Through this exploration of the field of medicine
in the previous centuries, the creation of hospitals and the proper conduct on these facilities can
be observed, assessed, and evaluated in connection to its historical origins.
The paper intends to answer this question: Is there a difference between the PatientPhysician relationship of the past and of today? This question can be fully answered by the
philosophical belief of the Islamic and Jewish people regarding their behavior towards the
Patient-Physician relationship and the influence of their beliefs. Hence, Islamic and Jewish
people, in terms of the Patient-Physician relationship, treat their patients under their religious
Relationship is recognized as the keystone of healthcare; it refers to the
practice in medicine during treatment processes
Esmaeilzadeh 4
creeds and spirituality; that is, the Patient-Physician relationship of the old times was greatly
differed from today because of the intervention and guidance of religion and spirituality.
Social and Political Aspect: Jews and Muslims
Both the ancient Jewish and Islamic societies and governments were intertwined and
greatly affected or influenced by their religious dogmas and spiritual beliefs. From basic
everyday life, values, commitments, principles, and ways of life to complex social and political
aspects in the Jewish and Islamic societies are guided and maneuvered by the hands of their
respective religions (Schultz et al 2012, internet ref). The governments and territories they have
are all part of their religious lives and spiritual beliefs. Even the pieces of literature, arts and
music, and other aspects during those times until this very day were created through the structure
and holistic foundation of their religion. Thus, religion for Jews and Muslims is a very
significant and important aspect of their societies and lives that it affects everything in their
domains and cultures including medicine and the patient-physician relationship. The teachings of
the Jews’ Torah3 and Muslims’ Qur’an 4 influence their perspectives, thoughts, principles, and
even their actions on how they care and provide treatment towards their patients (Schultz et al
2012, internet ref). Generally, both teachings provide the Jewish and Islamic societies, especially
in the terms of the patient-physician relationship, similarities, and differences regarding this field
and their ideologies or practices upon treating patients.
Torah is the Holy Scripture of Judaism; it is commonly referred to as the Old Testament or the
is the Holy Scripture of Islam which was said to have been revealed to Muhammad by
Esmaeilzadeh 5
Jews and Muslims may have differences in their beliefs, rituals, religious dogmas, and
even on how they call God; however, there is one thing that both are being taught by these
teachings- to do good to their fellow human beings (Schultz et al 2012, internet ref). This had
been an embedded code to their religion and has been taught since the establishment of their
religions. Jews and Muslims share these values dictated and required by their religions to attain
spiritual peace and abundance (Schultz et al 2012, internet ref). And from this point of view, both
work in line with these values which could be seen in many aspects of their lives and actions.
However, as time goes by, several changes have occurred which influenced the transformations
and modifications among cultures and traditions. The traditions and cultures that have been
predominantly prevalent and existing during those times, such as Jewish and Islamic eras of 900
to 1100 AD, started to fade and be replaced by other mainstream and Westerner practices. Instead
of following the ancient and spiritually-based practices, the patient-physician relationship today
is quite different from what it used to be. Thus, the paper shall discuss pieces of evidence of the
Jewish and Islamic patient-physician relationship.
The Islamic Medicine and Patient-Physician Relationship
Islam emerged during the 7th century CE in the Arabian Peninsula or modern-day Saudi
Arabia. Islam, translated to English, means “peace and submission to the will of Allah (translated
as the God); those who follow Islam are called Muslims (Taheri 2008, internet ref). This religion
is one of the three major monotheistic and Abrahamic religions after Judaism and Christianity.
Through the teachings of God’s prophets, especially Muhammad, and their Holy Scripture
Qur’an, Muslims abide by their religious duties, religious obligations or the five pillars, and
Esmaeilzadeh 6
other Islamic deeds. By so doing, they are committed to the submission of their lives, faith and
whole identity to Allah, their God. Moreover, the Qur’anic teachings and their Islamic Laws
(Shari’ah)5 provide the instructions to attain spiritual and holistic wealth and peace. These
teachings emphasize the strong submission to the will of Allah and the safekeeping of individual
lives. Through these Qur’anic teachings and the Shari’ah, Muslims can do good deeds and
commit themselves to their Islamic ways; these teachings become the structure and foundation
even with their health practice and theological and medical approach as long as none of these
laws are being violated (Taheri 2008, internet ref). Furthermore, these laws also require diet and
personal hygiene among Muslims as well as how physicians and other medical practitioners treat
both Muslim- and non-Muslim societies and communities6 (Taheri 2008, internet ref). Hence, the
medico-ethics of Islam, the patient-physician relationship, and other medical-related areas in the
Islamic community are much affected by their religious beliefs and spiritual dogmas.
Islamic ethics in the medical field was purely dominated by their religion; that is,
“Muslims not only assimilated the Persian and Greek science, but they fit it to their specific
needs and way of thinking.” (Zunic et al 2014, 75)7. With the emergence of many diseases,
Muslims then became much focused on the medical field and created an atmosphere for this field
to prosper and develop; rest assured that it is “equally covered both in theology and medicine,
is the basic Islamic code of laws next to Qur’anic teachings.
the tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim communities; still, Muslim physicians
extend their hands towards non-Muslim patients if deemed necessary
trade, expansion of territories, and explorations among other regions, Islamic medicine
garnered a momentum as it became influenced by other medical teachings, philosophies, and
Esmaeilzadeh 7
and doctors had to act under all the rules of morals8.” (Zunic et al 2014, 75). Islamic values then
covered and shaped the way physicians carry out their profession and how they treat those who
are in need. From this viewpoint, Islamic ethics, theology, and medicine were intertwined and
connected as these played vital roles in the patient and health care services and processes.
Since then, the field of medical ethics in the Islamic medicine and patient-physician
relationship soon boosted as Muslims arrived in the Persian and Egyptian regions, “translating
many of the earlier works from Greek, Syrian, Persian sources into Arabic” (Zunic et al 2014,
75). By collecting various ideas, kinds of literature, and ideologies from different sources of
other civilizations, cultures, and kingdoms, Islamic medical ethics gradually developed. Aside
from the gathered and translated pieces of literature influencing the Islamic medico-ethics,
religious aspects and beliefs of Islam also played its biggest part in the wholeness of ethics
development. Zunic et al assert that “the collection of materials on medical deontology which
most important purpose was to raise aid and engagement toward the sick with the help and
assistance of the Almighty God” added to the more development in this area (Zunic et al 2014,
75). An example of the oldest surviving Islamic work regarding medical ethics is the “Adab alTabib” (Practical Doctor’s Ethics or Practical Medical deontology) by Ishaq ibn Ali al-Ruhawi9
the Islamic medical practice and philosophies widened with foreign influences, theology and
religious beliefs dominated this field; hence, the formation of moral codes of ethics for Islamic
bin Ali al-Ruhawi is a 9th century Arab physician and has been recorded as the author of
the first medical ethics book in Arabic or Islamic medical field. His works contributed not only
to Islamic medicine but also became the structure or keystone of medico-ethics practices of other
Esmaeilzadeh 8
which was believed to be based from the works of Hippocrates and Galen (Zunic et al 2014, 75).
Furthermore, Zunic et al describe the contents of the book:
“Al Ruhawi’s thought that doctors are “guardians of souls and bodies,” made him
write twenty chapters on various subjects related to medical ethics. This book (Adab
alTabib) contained extensive instructions on mutual respect and moral obligations of
physicians, nurses, patients, and other staff. This work encouraged doctors to stay away
from the bad influences of people to realize that good character is much more important
than wealth and to understand that wisdom is found in moral and perfect people. One of
the most important obligations of doctors (in the opinion of this author’s) is to be enough
concerned about his own body and nurturing soul. Great emphasis was placed on the
interaction of the spiritual and physical powers, stating in one part of the book that mental
health is the most important part of health, and its violation can result in physical illness
as well (analogous to the presently called psychosomatic illnesses). This resulted to call
for the improvement of moral values. This book (Adab alTabib) also describes in detail
the desired behavior where doctors must strive toward a better relationship with their
patients, because it relieves unnecessary stress, and he must listen carefully to the patient.
Doctors should not ignore any of the symptoms that the patient stated, because they can
be of great importance in setting diagnosis. Furthermore, he describes that the doctor
should be merciful to patients and that it can only be achieved by the fear from the
Almighty God and he always should tell the truth and only works for the benefit of all
(not himself).” (Zunic et al 2014, 75)
Esmaeilzadeh 9
Moreover, the above mentioned Shari’ah or Islamic law also promotes ethics in the field
of medicine for Muslims. As the Adab promotes “virtues and righteous conduct couched within
Islamic terms; whereas ethicolegal writings comprise the second type and aim to expound the
legal permissibility of medical interactions, procedures and therapeutics”, the Shari’ah is divided
into two dimensions supporting ethicolegal aspects (Padela 2008, 2). The first dimension serves
as a corpus of legal rulings, statutes, and precedents while the other or the second one serves as
the “moral code of Islam” (Padela 2008, 2). The Shari’ah, which serves as the “collective ethical
subconscious of the Muslim community”, becomes the guide for practitioners and physicians in
terms of patient-physician relationship and other medico-legal and ethics matters (Padela 2008,
2). With the help of the Shari’ah, Islamic legal experts can face “complex moral challenges
around healthcare decisions10” (Padela 2008, 2). This Islamic law becomes the backbone, as well
as the Adab, in maintaining professional and ethical actions in the field of pre-medieval Islamic
medicine. In terms of non-binding legal opinions rendered by jurisconsults, the Fatawa11 “serves
as a window into Islamic bioethical considerations.” (Padela 2008, 2) The Fatawa comes in
different usages; to wit, “researchers use Fatawa as source texts for study, clinicians use Fatawa
to understand the permissibility of medical interventions, and Islamic studies scholars use
Fatawa as source texts to derive and prioritize principles for Islamic bioethics” (Padela 2008, 2).
Hence, the Fatawa becomes another source of ethical ideologies and guide for the Islamic
medical field.
complex moral challenges include the gender relations in Islamic medicine as part of
Islamic law and the treatment needed to be applied towards non-Muslim individuals.
in Islamic medicine ethics principle is the counterpart of Jewish medical ethics
Responsa literature.
Esmaeilzadeh 10
Islamic laws are recognized to be very complex and at the same time sensitive,
traditionalized, and conservative. Among these Islamic laws, the most common and most usual to
be preserved and observed is on gender relations. As it was found in the Qur’an, whereas stated
that “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to
other evils)’ (17:32)” (as cited by Padela 2008, 2). This Qur’an verse emphasizes the need to
avoid any adultery acts or even acts that might trigger proximity to adultery12. According to
Zunic et al, this tradition and religious belief stems out from Prophetic prohibitions “stating that
when a non-mahram male and a female are alone ‘Satan’ is the ‘third among them’ and his
stating that ‘a man must not remain alone in the company of a woman’ (Sahih alBukhari)” (Padela 2008, 2). However, despite the emphasis of this Islamic law, Islamic medical
field, with its ethics and commitment to the patient-physician relationship, allows the seclusion
of a patient and a physician even though they are of the opposite genders. In connection to this,
as gender relations is a very sensitive issue for Muslims, Islamic bioethics has created a
designated hierarchy of physicians. According to Padela & del Pozo, the “preference is given to a
Muslim physician of the same sex, followed by a non-Muslim of the same gender, then a Muslim
physician of the opposite gender and lastly a non-Muslim of the opposite gender” (Padela 2008,
2) . Simply put, medical treatment is prioritized over religious traditions and Islamic laws to fully
provide medical services; rest assured that physicians can render these services in accordance
with the ethicolegal grounds of the Islamic laws13.
laws and Qur’anic teachings prohibit the isolation or seclusion of two unmarried
opposite sexes into an isolated place as it can be a cause of sexual intercourse or adultery.
laws prohibit isolation of two unmarried opposite sexes but Qur’anic teachings
prioritize and values; hence, physicians are given the permission to provide medical assistance
without violating any Islamic laws or Qur’anic Teachings
Esmaeilzadeh 11
The Jewish Medicine and Patient-Physician Relationship
The Jewish people are the believers under the oldest monotheistic religion, Judaism. Jews
are considered as the very first people to have embraced the teachings and spiritual beliefs under
a single God, as the chosen people to receive the chosen land from God. These people first
emerged in the regions of Israel around 1,000 BC. Jews, just like the Muslim people, are
supervised and guided by their Holy Scriptures; the Torah or the Law. In the Christian aspect,
Jews only believe in the Old Testament14. Jews follow both the Bible (written) and the Talmud
(oral) to maintain a spiritually positive and abundant life (Goldsand et al 2001, 220). With the
teachings from the prophets said to have been sent by God Himself, Jews embraced this
theological and spiritual life and aspect; through their revelations and teachings, Jews became a
strong and established religion. Their will to abide by God’s laws, basically the Ten
Commandments, and to obey His teachings became an integral and important part of Jewish life.
This kind of spiritual and religious life has spread across everything in the Jewish community or
society, especially in the field of medicine, patient-physician relationship, and other medicalrelated matters.
As mentioned, the Torah or the Law, the Bible as the written literature, and the Talmud as
oral help Jews to be guided throughout their lives, from basic everyday life routines to complex
roles and functions in the community. With this, ethics in the medical field for Jewish medicine
is greatly influenced and rooted “in the belief of God and His Torah (Bible) whereas the basis of
secular ethics is based primarily upon humanistic and rational intellect” (Steinberg 2015, 1). This
follows the Old and New Testament; Judaism only believes and follows Old
Esmaeilzadeh 12
humanitarian and secular ethics and principles are fully intertwined which creates the ethicolegal
aspects and guidelines for Jewish physicians in treating and providing health care services to
their patients. Moreover, in Judaism, “there is no basic difference between laws/regulations
(Halakhah) and morals/ethics because both are integral parts of the Torah and their validity flows
from the power of the Torah and the Divine revelation15” (Steinberg 2015, 1). Form this point,
legal issues and grounds are also synonymous with ethical issues as these are part of the
religious, spiritual, and social aspects of Jewish life. Furthermore, the three main sources of
Jewish legal and ethical thinking is based on the Bible, which includes the 5 books of Moses
(Torah), the Talmud, which is composed of multilayered commentaries on biblical texts and oral
traditions by learned rabbis of the second to fifth centuries, and the Responsa literature, which
common opinions regarding contemporary matters are given by Jewish scholars as interpreted
through the Bible and the Talmud (Goldsand et al 2001, 220). These three main sources act as the
backbone of the ethicolegal basis of Jewish medicine which acts as the strongest influence
needed to abide by the spiritual and ethical principles regarding the field of medicine. With this,
Steinberg reiterates the basic Jewish medical ethics principles which are rooted or based upon the
teachings of God through the Bible:
• There is an obligation upon the physician to heal the sick. The role of a
physician is not optional in Jewish law but rather obligatory.
• There is an obligation upon the patient to seek medical help. Whenever a
treatment for an illness is assumed to be medically beneficial there is an obligation upon
ethical and legal laws are basically intertwined compared to the Islamic laws which are
related to Qur’anic teachings yet have differences and disparities.
Esmaeilzadeh 13
a patient to undergo such treatment. He who refrains from doing so is described in
Scripture: “And surely your blood of your lives will I require.”21
• There is an obligation of respect and dignity toward fellow man.
• There is a call for solidarity and mutually shared values and duties in society
rather than individualism and extreme autonomy. (Steinberg 2015, 1)
One of the most staggering issues that are linked with Jewish medical ethics principles is
the treatment of the terminally ill. Among all cultures and religions, it is a universal thought,
principle, and truth that to kill somebody is a sin and that it shall be faced with the punishment
from the laws of man or the laws of the Higher Being16. In Judaism, the same spiritual and
religious belief exists; that is, the Torah or the Bible speaks of God’s commandment that to kill is
a mortal sin. Steinberg enumerates some of the Biblical or Torhic verses from which the Jews
base this principle against killing; one of which is “Love your fellow man as yourself”2—this is
a major principle in the Torah3,4; “what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor, that is the
whole Torah, while the rest is commentary, go and learn it.” (Steinberg 2015, 1) Living through
these dogmas, even physicians and family members violate this legal and ethical principle once
they decided to cease the life of a terminally ill person without any hopes of curing or treatment.
On the other hand, Jewish medicine ethical principle also believes that there is a necessity
to intervene with the life of a terminally ill patient because it is stated in the Talmud:
is universally accepted as the truth for different religions, cultures, and traditions of many
societies that inflicting harm and not being able to help someone in need is a capital sin.
Esmaeilzadeh 14
And they said one to another: “Why sit here until we die? If we say: we will enter
the city when the famine is in the city we shall die there; but if we remain here, we die
also; therefore, let us fall into the camp of Aram; if they permit us to live, we shall live,
and if they kill us, we shall die.” (Steinberg 2015, 1).
With this, the Jewish ethical ruling clears out that “a patient who is estimated to die
within 12 months because of a fatal illness (this defines “life of the hour”) is permitted to
undergo a treatment that on the one hand may extend his life beyond 12 months, but on the other
hand may hasten his death (shorter than the natural course of his lethal illness) (Steinberg 2015,
1). Intervening with the life of a terminally ill patient becomes a vague issue and grounds in the
Jewish medical community. This could be compared to the above mentioned gender relations
issue in the Islamic field of medicine and ethics; unlike the Islamic laws which are already fixed,
Jewish ethics on terminally ill patients seems undefined and debatable.
Jewish and Islamic medical ethics principles help in the shaping and influencing the
patient-physician relationship. Their religious and spiritual beliefs from their ethics in everyday
life as well as in the field of medicine. These influences are the lacking factors needed today in
terms of medical ethics and the patient-physician relationship. On a brighter side, the medical
ethics principles of Jewish and Islamic communities have somewhat affected the ethics in the
medical field of today. Therefore, the religious and spiritual belief of the Jews and Muslims
played an important role in medical ethics which are fundamentally required in every medical
field. Jewish medical ethics are greatly influenced by three main sources; Talmud, Torah or the
Esmaeilzadeh 15
Bible, and Responsa literature. These sources shape and influence the basic structure of Jewish
legal and ethical medical principles which includes the treatment of terminally ill patients. On
the other hand, Islamic medical ethics are structured by the Islamic laws (Shari’ah) and their
Qur’anic teachings which despite the gender relations issue in the Islamic community, still
physicians are given permission to operate and render medical services towards individuals of
the opposite sex. These sources and issues are the basis of their patient-physician relationships.
Esmaeilzadeh 16
Goldsand, Gary, et al. 2001. Bioethics for clinicians: 22. Jewish bioethics. Canadian Medical
Association Journal, 164 (2).
Lyons, Jonathan. “Early Islamic Medicine.” Lapham’s Quarterly.
Padela, A. I. & del Pozo, P. R. 2008. Muslim patients and cross-gender interaction in medicine:
an Islamic bioethical perspective. Journal of medical ethics, 37(1), 40-44.
Steinberg, Avraham. 2015. A. Risky treatments: A Jewish medical ethics perspective. Rambam
Schultz, Michael, et al. 2012. Reflections on Palliative Care from the Jewish and Islamic
Tradition. Hindawi.
Taheri, N. 2008. Health care in Islamic history and experience. Ethnomed.
.Zunic, Lejla, et al, 2014, “Medical Ethics in the Medieval Islamic Sciences.” Journal of
Research in Pharmacy Practice, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd.
On liberty and greatness (Disc. 2.2)
“It is easy to see how this affection of peoples for selfgovernment (il vivere libero) comes about, for experience shows
that cities have never increased either in dominion or wealth,
unless they have been independent. It is truly remarkable to
observe the greatness which Athens attained in the space of a
hundred years after it had been liberated from the tyranny of
Pisistratus. But most marvelous of all is it to observe the
greatness which Rome attained after freeing itself from its kings.
The reason is easy to understand; for it is not the well-being of
individuals that makes cities great, but the well-being of the
community; and it is beyond question that it is only in republics
that the common good is looked to properly in that all that
promotes it is carried out… The opposite happens when
there is a prince; for what he does in his own interests
usually harms the city, and what is done in the interests of
the city harms him .”
Discourses (on the First Decade of Livy)
Completed between late 1515 and January 1519
A commentary on the first ten book of Livy’s
History of Rome
Organisation of the Discourses
• Bk I – constitution of a free state: internal affairs
• Bk II – military matters and empire: external
• Bk III – outstanding examples of statesmen in
both fields
The birth of the state
Machiavelli, Discorsi, I.1:
• ‘Those who read of the origin of the city of Rome, of
its legislators and of how it was ordered, will not be
surprised that in this city such great virtue was
maintained for so many centuries, and that later on
there came into being the empire into which that
republic developed. And since I wish to discuss first of
all its birth…’
Machiavelli, Discorsi, I.11:
• ‘Though the first to give Rome a constitution was
Romulus, to whom, as a daughter, she owed her birth
and her education…’.
Book II: the empire state
“The aim of a republic is to deprive all other
bodies of their vitality and to weaken them in
order to increase its own body”
Disc. II.2
From The Prince to the Discourses
The same political morality
Virtù and Fortuna: the battle continues
a) The key to political success is in overcoming
Fortuna’s power and stabilising the state.
b) Both the republic and the principality inhabit
same moral universe in which Fortuna intervenes:
maintaining the state requires citizens as much as
princes to be prepared to tailor their behaviour
according to variations in time, place,
circumstance, historical moment, etc.
On ambition and conflict
“Ancient writers say that men usually worry in bad
conditions, and get bored in good ones, and that either of
these passions produces the same effects. Whenever men
cease fighting through necessity, they go to fighting
through ambition, which is so powerful in human breasts
that, whatever high rank men climb to, never does
ambition abandon them. The reason is that nature has
made men able to crave everything but unable to attain
Disc. I.37
Discourses, Book 3, ch.41
Title of chapter:
“That one’s country should be defended whether it
entail ignominy or glory, and that it is good to defend
it in any way whatsoever”
“When the safety of one’s country (patria) wholly
depends on the decision to be taken, no attention
should be paid to justice or injustice, to kindness or
cruelty, or to its being praiseworthy or ignominious. On
the contrary, every other consideration being set aside,
that alternative should be wholeheartedly adopted
which will save the life and preserve the freedom of
one’s country (patria).”
On Romulus
(Discourses. I. 9)
“Many, perchance, will think it a bad precedent that the
founder of a civic state, such as Romulus, should first
have killed his brother, and then acquiesced in the death
of Titus Tatius…they will urge that, if such actions be
justifiable, ambitious citizens who are eager to govern,
will follow the example of their prince and use violence
against those who are opposed to their authority. A view
that will hold good provided we leave out of
considerations the end which Romulus had in
committing these murders…”
More on Romulus (Disc. I.9)
“…One should take it as a general rule that rarely, if ever,
does it happen that a state, whether it be a republic or a
kingdom, is either well-ordered at the outset or radically
transformed vis-à-vis its old institutions unless this be
done by a single person. It is likewise essential that there
should be but one person upon whose mind and method
depends any similar process of organization. Wherefore
the prudent organizer of a state whose intention it is to
govern not in his own interests but for the common
good, and not in the interests of his successors but for
the sake of that fatherland which is common to all,
should contrive to be alone in authority…”
More on Romulus (Disc.I.9)
“…Nor will any reasonable man blame him for taking
any action, however extraordinary, which may be of
service in the organization of a kingdom or the
constituting of a republic. It is a sound maxim that
reprehensible actions may be justified by their effects,
and that when the effect is good, as it was in the case
of Romulus, it always justifies the action. For it is the
man who uses violence to spoil things, not the man
who uses it to mend them, that is blameworthy.”
The idea of liberty
Bruni on Florence’s liberty:
“It is because Florence has recognised that what
concerns the body of the people ought not to be
decided except by the will of that body itself that
liberty flourishes”
Leonardo Bruni, Panegyric of the City of
Florence, (1403/4)
The Florentine Constitution in the Italian
(Also called the Priorate: Eight priors, plus a Standard-bearer of Justice -The Nine
The Twelve
The Sixteen
Council of the People/Council of the Commune
(Later, in 1494: ‘The Great Council’)
• The Florentine constitution consisted of an executive grouped into three
main bodies (called the ‘Tre Maggiori’), all of which were elected offices.
• Gonfaloniere di Giustizia (‘Standard-bearer of Justice’) and 8 Priors (assisted
by a notary). Total of NINE. This group of people are called the Signoria:
they wield the ‘lordship’ of Florence.
• Two advisory councils (called the ‘Collegi’ – ‘the Colleges’):
• a) the Buonuomini: The ‘Twelve’, or ‘The Twelve Good Men’
• b) the Gonfalonieri di Compagnia: The Sixteen
Bruni on popular sovereignty
“Florence thinks that what concerns many ought to be decided by
the action of the whole citizen-body acting according to the law
and legal procedure… everyone is of equal rank…the Florentine
citizen-body itself has promised to protect the less powerful…each
is given his due.” (Bruni, Panegyric, 1403/4):
“Il popolo è signor di tutto” – “the People is master/lord of
everything” (Bruni, The Rebuttal of the Critics of the People of Florence,
In other words: the citizen body itself is sovereign.
A theory of popular sovereignty
• Constitution enshrines principle of popular sovereignty
What is sovereignty and where is it located in the self-governing
body politic?
In Roman and Renaissance political thought, sovereignty is often
imperium, or
dominium, or
But it is an attribute associated above all with the power to decide
on what counts as law: the power to legislate.
Two types of concepts of liberty
(Isaiah Berlin):
‘positive’ type vs ‘negative’ type
‘Positive’ liberty: some characteristics
• Restraints can be internal as well as external (sin,
libido, etc.)
• Self-mastery is often crucial condition of full
• Tied to fixed conception of ‘self ’
• Human liberty thus involves self-fulfilment, selfrealisation
Freedom and the state in
Machiavelli’s Discourses
Roman law of persons
Digest, 1.5.3:
‘The chief division in the law of persons is that all men
are either free or else are slaves.’
Digest, I.6.1:
‘Some persons are in their own power, some are subject
to the law of another…slaves are in the power of their
The Florentine Constitution in the Italian
(Also called the Priorate: Eight priors, plus a Standard-bearer of Justice -The Nine
The Twelve
The Sixteen
Council of the People/Council of the Commune
(Later, in 1494: ‘The Great Council’)
• The Florentine constitution consisted of an executive grouped into three
main bodies (called the ‘Tre Maggiori’), all of which were elected offices.
• Gonfaloniere di Giustizia (‘Standard-bearer of Justice’) and 8 Priors (assisted
by a notary). Total of NINE. This group of people are called the Signoria:
they wield the ‘lordship’ of Florence.
• Two advisory councils (called the ‘Collegi’ – ‘the Colleges’):
• a) the Buonuomini: The ‘Twelve’, or ‘The Twelve Good Men’
• b) the Gonfalonieri di Compagnia: The Sixteen
A theory of popular sovereignty
• Constitution enshrines principle of popular sovereignty
What is sovereignty and where is it located in the self-governing
body politic?
In Roman and Renaissance political thought, sovereignty is often
imperium, or
dominium, or
But it is an attribute associated above all with the power to decide
on what counts as law: the power to legislate.
On the benefits of liberty
“All lands and provinces which live freely in all respects
profit by this enormously. For, wherever increasing
populations are found, it is due to the freedom with
which marriage is contracted and to its being more
desired by men. And this comes about where every man
is ready to have children, since he believes that he can
rear them and feels sure that his patrimony will not be
taken away, and since he knows that not only will they
be born free, instead of into slavery, but that, if they
have virtue, they will have a chance of becoming rulers.”
Disc. II.2
Liberty and the economy
“One observes, two, how riches multiply and abound
there, alike those that come from agriculture and those
that are produced by the trades. For everyone is eager
to acquire such things and to obtain property, provided
he be convinced that he will enjoy it when it has been
acquired. It comes about that, in competition with one
another, men look both to their own advantage and to
that of the public; so that in both respects wonderful
progress is made. The contrary of this happens in
countries which live in servitude; and the harder the
servitude the more does the well-being to which they
are accustomed, dwindle.”
Disc. II.2
On liberty and greatness (Disc. 2.2)
“It is easy to see how this affection of peoples for selfgovernment (il vivere libero) comes about, for experience shows
that cities have never increased either in dominion or wealth,
unless they have been independent. It is truly remarkable to
observe the greatness which Athens attained in the space of a
hundred years after it had been liberated from the tyranny of
Pisistratus. But most marvelous of all is it to observe the
greatness which Rome attained after freeing itself from its kings.
The reason is easy to understand; for it is not the well-being of
individuals that makes cities great, but the well-being of the
community; and it is beyond question that it is only in republics
that the common good is looked to properly in that all that
promotes it is carried out… The opposite happens when
there is a prince; for what he does in his own interests
usually harms the city, and what is done in the interests of
the city harms him .”
On the origins of free states (Bk I)
Two types of historical origins:
a) Types like Athens or Venice, who group together for
purposes of defence:
‘Without any person or prince to give them a constitution,
they began to live as a community under laws which
seemed to them appropriate’
Disc. I.1
…Or else
b) Types like Rome:
‘Free cities are those which are built by peoples
who, either under a prince or under their own
accord, are driven by pestilence or famine or war
to abandon the land of their birth and to look for
new habitations’
Disc. I.1
But in both cases…
These types are cities which have:
‘from the outset been far removed from any kind
of external servitude, but instead have from the
start been governed in accordance with their own
wishes, whether as republics or principalities’ Disc. I.1
Two types of early formation of the free
‘To some of them (i.e states) laws have been
given by some one person at some one time, as
laws were given to the Spartans by Lycurgus;
whereas others have acquired them by chance
and at different times as occasion arose. This
was the case in Rome’
Disc. I.2
The prudent legislator
‘Happy indeed we should call that state which
produces a man so prudent that men can live
securely under the laws he prescribes without
having to emend them.’
Disc. I.2
E.g Sparta – Lycurgus was a ‘prudent organizer’
who set the city on the straight path.
Machiavelli on the cycle of states
Disc. I.2 :
contains a discussion of ancient cyclical theory of the life of states (specific
reference to the ideas of the Greek historian Polybius writing in 2nd century
B.C.E.) :
Three good forms of government – monarchy, aristocracy and popular
government – and their corrupt counterparts into which they degenerate.
1) Monarchy – becomes tyranny, leading to the establishment of the rule of a
few in the form of an…
2) Aristocracy – which becomes an oligarchy (which is then overthrown by
3) Popular government (which is then itself inclined to degenerate into
The mixed constitution
‘Hence prudent legislators, aware of these defects, refrained
from adopting as such as one of these forms, and chose instead
one that shared in them all’. Disc. I.2
Good example: Lycurgus, who finds a pattern which leads to a
stable way of life for the Spartans for more than 800 years.
Bad example: Solon, who drew up the laws for Athens – his
popular constitution failed because in drawing up his democracy
‘he had not blended either princely power or that of the
aristocracy’. Disc. I.2
The case of Rome
‘Romulus and the rest of the kings made many
good laws quite compatible with freedom; but
because their aim was to found a kingdom, not a
republic, when the city became free, it lacked
many institutions essential to the preservation
of liberty, which had to be provided’. Disc. I.2
Rome, history, fortune
‘Rome had no Lycurgus to give it at the outset such a
constitution as would ensure to it at the outset such a
constitution as would ensure to it a long life of
freedom, yet, owing to friction between the plebs and
the Senate, so many things happened that chance
effected what had not been provided by a lawgiver. So
that if Rome did not Fortune’s first gift, it got its
second. For her early institutions, though defective,
were not on wrong lines and so might pave the way to
Disc. I.2
The grandi and the popolo:
The ‘humours’ in the body politic
Machiavelli, The Prince, ch. IX:
‘For these two humours are found in every city… the people do not want to
be dominated or oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles want to dominate
and oppress the people.’
Machiavelli, Disc. I.4:
‘In every republic there are two different humours, that of the popolo and
that of the grandi, and…all the legislation favourable to liberty is brought
about by the clash between them.’
Machiavelli, Disc. I.5:
‘Unquestionably if we ask what it is that the nobility are after and what it is
the common people are after, it will be seen that in the former there is a great
desire to dominate and in the latter merely the desire not to be dominated.
Consequently, the latter will be more keen on liberty since their hope of
usurping dominion over others will be less.’
On political and social discord
‘To me, those who condemn the quarrels between the
nobles and the plebs, seem to be caviling at the very
things that were the primary cause of Rome’s retaining
her freedom, and that they pay more attention to the
noise and clamour resulting from such commotions
than to what resulted from them, i.e., to the good
effects which they produced. Nor do they realize that in
every republic there are two different dispositions, that
of the populo and that of the grandi and that all
legislation favourable to liberty is brought about by the
clash between them.’
Disc. I.4
The constitution and the two ‘humours’ of the
body of the state
• In Machiavelli’s constitutional theory, a machinery of
government keep these two ineradicably opposed social forces,
each representing opposed interests, maintaining a continuous
watch over one other
• ‘All the laws that are enacted in favour of liberty arise from their
disunion’ (Disc. I.4)
• In Rome, the grandi held control of the Senate, while the
establishment of the Tribunate – and the Tribune of the Plebs –
not only gave to the ordinary people (popolo) a share in the
administration of the government, but constituted at the same
time ‘a guardian of Roman liberty’ (Disc. 1.5)
Civil religion and the free state
• Bk 1, chs 11-15: King Numa praised for introducing civil religious practices
into the early life of the Roman state, precisely because “the observation of
divine worship is a cause of the greatness of republics…contempt for it is a
cause of their ruin” (Disc. I. 11).
• “Numa…turned to religion as the instrument necessary above all others for
the maintenance of a civilised state, and so constituted it that there were
never for so many centuries so great a fear of God as there was in this
republic.” (Disc. I.11)
• “Whoever runs through the vast exploits performed by the people of Rome
as a whole, or by many of the Romans individually, will see that its citizens
were more afraid of breaking an oath than of breaking the law, since they
held in higher esteem the power of God than the power of man.” (Disc. I.11)
The critique of Christianity
(Bk 2, chapter 2)
• Christians “glorify humble and contemplative men rather than
men of action, and have set up humility, abjectness and
contempt for worldly things as the greatest good” (Disc. II.2).
• This, says Machiavelli, encourages ozio, a kind of laziness, which
acts as a corrupting influence on public life as much as ambizione,
the other cause of corruption.
• Machiavelli insists that Christianity in its current incarnation “has
rendered the world feeble and handed it over as a prey to the
wicked…the generality of men, hoping to go to Paradise, think
more about enduring their injuries than avenging them.” It has
“taught us to given little esteem to worldly honour”. (Disc. II.2).
On ambition, deception and selfdeception
Corruption also stems from blinding ambition
“Men in general are as much affected by what a thing appears to
be as by what it is, indeed they are more influenced by
appearances rather than reality”. (Disc. I.25)
“The populace, misled by the false appearance of the good,
often seeks its own ruin and, unless it be brought to realise what
is bad and what is good for it by someone in whom it has
confidence, brings on republics endless dangers and disasters”.
(Disc. 1.53)
Machiavelli’s theory of empire
Important elements contained in early chapters of
Bk 1 of Discourses (particularly Chapter 6); but laid
out in detail in Bk 2
Libertà and imperio
(Liberty and empire)
• In Machiavelli, an intrinsic connection between
these two concepts
1) States which are free have great, durable
2) States which have empires have the best
chance of remaining free.
The causes of war
“War is made on a commonwealth for two
reasons: one, to subjugate it (become her
master); the second, for fear of being subjugated
by it.” Disc. I.6
In waging war on you, states either want to
dominate you, or don’t want to be dominated by
you. They act according to one of the two
dominant social humours within them…
But changes in fortune bring variations
and flux…
• “Since, however, all human affairs are ever in a
state of flux and cannot stand still, either there
will be an improvement or decline, and necessity
will lead you to do many things which reason
does not recommend. Hence if a
commonwealth be constituted with a view to its
maintaining the status quo, but not with a view
to expansion, and by necessity it be lead to
expand, its basic principles will be subverted,
and it will soon be faced with ruin”. Disc. 1.6
Shaping the form of the state
leggi e ordini – ‘laws and institutions’
States are organised by a distinctive bundle of
laws, social and political institutions and customs
which Machiavelli identifies as the product of
successful state formation
On the coercive power of the law
‘So we may say that just as hunger and poverty
make men industrious, it is the laws which make
them good’
– Disc 1.3
On the need for good ‘orders’
‘A republic ought to have among its ordini this:
that the citizens are to be watched so that they
cannot under the cover of good do evil and so
that they gain only such popularity as advances
and does not harm liberty.’
1 Esmaeilzadeh
Sam Esmaeilzadeh
UID: 305361486
February 8, 2020
History 130
History of European Political Thought
2 Esmaeilzadeh
Why is the virtue of mercy so important in Seneca’s theory of monarchy in On Mercy?
Seneca’s advice to young ruler Nero includes the advice On Mercy which emphasizes the
need for the emperor to be merciful in all his dealings. In this book, the stoic philosophy of
Seneca comes to light about the virtue of mercy which the philosopher emphasizes. Therefore,
based on stoicism, it is evident that Seneca prescribes a new way of life where the individual’s
freedom is defined by nature. The importance of virtue in stoicism is clear & Seneca’s interest in
the virtue of mercy should be evaluated to determine why this particular virtue is critical to his
philosophy. Mercy is important to Seneca’s theory of monarchy because it is anchored in stoic
philosophy proclaiming the gods’ example, the human capacity to change, & the desirable
character traits of a king.
Before showing probable reasons why mercy was crucial for Seneca’s theory of
monarchy, It’s crucial to first look at the philosopher’s intentions & beliefs in stoicism to
articulate his position & urge readers to align with it. As a stoic, Seneca’s theory is based on his
understanding of what a good life ought to be. Therefore, when advising Nero on being a good
king, it must be seen that he proposes a stoic approach to leadership based on his philosophy &
beliefs. Seneca’s theory of monarchy is anchored in the battle for moral decisions. Stoicism thus
had a crucial impact on the writings of Seneca. His intentions, as will be seen throughout the
essay, were thus guided by the desire to effectively articulate his philosophy as superior in
leadership & also imploring the new emperor to adopt it as a guide.
One of the basic reasons the virtue of mercy is important to Seneca is that it is modeled
by the gods. The gods were to the emperor what he was to the people. Seneca compares the
3 Esmaeilzadeh
prince with the gods & makes a logical point on why mercy is necessary for the prince. He
explains that “he [the prince] should wish to be to the citizens as he would wish the gods to be to
him” (Seneca 135-136). He gives this example using the single accepted truth that the gods
exercise mercy on the kings & if they were implacable & unreasonable, the king would not be
alive. This comparison works to draw inspiration from the gods’ example to present the logic of
maintaining mercy as the ruler. Another point Seneca brings up in regards to why mercy is
necessary for a prince is he states that, “He must imitate their justice, beneficence & clemency in
using it; he must be to his citizens as he would wish the gods to be to him.”(Griffin 536).With
this in mind Seneca proclaims that when comparing situations of mercy the prince should act in a
divine manner in the way that the citizens look up to the prince as a divine being & should be a
model of the gods.
Other than merely referring to the gods as models for mercy, it is also crucial to
understand the important position of the gods as the divine force associated with stoic logic. The
gods were central to Roman life & so are they to the stoic philosophy. The cosmic city is a
“universe governed by a providential, divine force which stoics associated with logos…gods”
(Lecture Jan 22, slide 11). This description of the cosmic city highlights the central place of the
power of reason which is closely tied to the gods. It is thus correct to conclude that as a stoic,
Seneca recognizes the power of the gods & their divine guidance in the cosmos. Therefore, his
use of the gods as a model for mercy is a powerful example that links the virtue of mercy to the
example of the divine based on general Roman culture & stoicism as well.
Another reason why the virtue of mercy is very important to Seneca is that it is based on
the capacity of humans to reform. Mercy is applied with the assumption that the person who
4 Esmaeilzadeh
receives mercy from the prince can reform & lead a better life. Seneca tells Nero that “you need
to avoid extremes & know how to distinguish curable from hopeless characters. Mercy should
not be indiscriminate & general; but neither should it be excluded” (Seneca 131). This piece of
advice guides the emperor on the need to develop a discerning power based on the assumption
that some people are ‘curable,’ that is, they can reform from their vices if shown mercy. The
highlight of this excerpt is Seneca’s belief in the nature of humanity as deserving a second
chance to some characters who can reform. It is thus evident that mercy is critical to encourage
positive change from the people.
The belief in the capacity of people to achieve a positive change in life is core to stoicism
as a philosophy & portrays Seneca’s core beliefs which he hopes to pass to the young emperor.
Stoicism presents the challenge for humans to beat destructive emotions & gain understanding
based on logos. It was noted that Seneca rejected the power of fortuna & instead viewed it as a
moment testing one’s ability to find themselves through staying focused on the path of the
reason. This note presents the belief of Seneca in the ability of the individual to change &
improve through resilience & resistance of negative emotions to stay on the true path of
reasoning. This part of stoic philosophy rings true to the belief that humans can change when
given the chance. The belief in the capacity to change, therefore, is a core aspect that Seneca
hopes to transfer to the prince based on his belief in the necessity of mercy in the monarchy.
In addition to mercy being based on the capacity of humans to change, Seneca’s value for
mercy is the need for good leadership in the monarchy. Leadership in the monarchy is primarily
classified as tyranny due to the absolute control of the king over his subjects. However, the stoic
is keen to make positive changes & produce a good leader in Nero. At the beginning of the book,
5 Esmaeilzadeh
Seneca claims that he provides the advice on mercy as holding a mirror to the prince for he
brings the best pleasure in life by living by virtue (Seneca 128). This statement, although risking
the fallacy of circular reasoning, portrays the character of the king as a likable one hence
deserving upholding. The statement thus praises Nero for his good deeds by showing that virtue
is the basis for acting as a king & mercy is a part of this virtue.
By identifying Nero as a king full of virtue & in so doing showing the value of mercy,
Seneca further goes to distinguish the king from a tyrant by showing that mercy is the single
most important aspect of the ruler. Seneca implores Nero to show mercy since he believes it is
part of a good character. He claims that “mercy becomes no one more than a king or a prince.
What gives might its grace & glory is its power for good” (Seneca 132). Here, Seneca shows that
mercy is the primary principle of a king or a prince & it distinguishes them from other men,
including tyrants. Their might & safety are based on their clever use of mercy on the people &
hence they are liked & praised for how they use this virtue. The mercy befits the king who is a
wise & likable ruler & distinguishes him from the tyrant who is dislikable & forceful in his ways.
Moreover, the favor upon the king, as opposed to the tyrant, is seen in stoic philosophy
which is the foundation for Seneca’s argument. It is crucial to understand why Seneca felt that
the prince should be distinguished from a tyrant & that mercy is a key trait that plays this specific
role. “The body is entirely at the service of the mind…in the same way, this vast multitude of
men surrounds one man as though he were its mind, ruled by his spirit, guided by his reason”
(Lecture Jan 22, slide 36). Here, the author makes an argument that the prince should be a voice
of reason & the bond that holds the republic together. Therefore, the prince should be guided by
reason & not anger or revenge. The qualities of the prince as one whose reasons are hence
6 Esmaeilzadeh
sharply contrasted by the bloody & inconsiderate actions of a tyrant that go against the rule of
the natural law for the benefits of humanity.
Honor for the king is derived from the people’s perceptions of his ability to control his
emotions hence mercy in self-control is a measure of honor. Seneca’s characterization of the
prince or king is based on his stoic principle of one’s need to control destructive emotions. In an
overview of the meaning of stoicism as practiced by Seneca & others, it was determined that the
stoic must be able to control their emotions & not let them get in the way of their reasoning. The
stoic is guided by reason not emotions & hence must be able to adhere to the path of sound
reason. The connection between mercy & self-control aligns with stoic ideas of a good life which
Seneca proclaims for the prince who has to guide people with logos as opposed to emotions.
In addition to the likeness of mercy & self-control, these two are connected in the king’s
ability to dispense justice by controlling anger & discerning the correct action to take. Justice is a
crucial aspect for a king who needs to be respected for ruling in accordance with existing laws &
great wisdom. Seneca explains how the exercise of mercy can lead the king in dispensing this
justice through restraint & coming across as superior to the transgressors. He claims that
“savage, inexorable anger is not becoming to a king. He cannot tower much above any person on
whose level he has placed himself by growing angry”(Seneca 134-135). This statement likens
anger to savagery which can be further translated to the lack of self-control. Anger, which forces
the king to act without mercy, is a show of weakness & savagery & hence undesirable for the
king. In general, mercy is linked to self-control & Seneca appreciates the place of this value in
the character traits of the king.
7 Esmaeilzadeh
Mercy comes across as critical to Seneca’s theory of monarchy since it is associated with
the gods as a voice of reason, the nature of humanity to reform, & character traits of considerate
leadership & self-control. In general, the philosopher implored Nero to be merciful because the
gods have set an example by being merciful to the kings as well. The gods, as a sign of reason in
the stoic comic world, are thus to be imitated in human actions. Similarly, the stoic belief in a
human being as searching for a path is supported by the observation that people can change in
the search for their right path. Mercy thus comes across as vital in providing these people the
opportunity to change & follow the path of reason. Mercy also comes across as paramount to the
character traits of the king. For the king to be effective, they have to be respected, safe, &
dispense justice. One of the major tools for doing this is mercy. The king also has to show
restraint & practicing mercy is a display of self-control.
Seneca’s writings on mercy show the importance of controlling one’s emotions in
charting the path of reason which is the central principle of the stoic. Lack of mercy means that
the individual is inconsiderate & illogical. They are ruthless & act out of anger & emotions.
Therefore, they are not a true stoic since one would identify negative emotions & conquer them
with the voice of reason. The centrality of mercy is thus obvious in leading life as a stoic &
Seneca aimed to bring out this truth. The primary audience, Emperor Nero, seems to have
adopted the contrary of what Seneca taught; he was ruthless & rash in action rarely if ever,
exercising mercy. Seneca’s teachings may, however, be used in a modern setting by leaders &
the general public in living a meaningful life.
8 Esmaeilzadeh
Works Cited
Seneca. “On Mercy.” Moral and Political Essays. Edited and translated by John M. Cooper and J.
F. Procope. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 119-137.
Griffin, Miriam. “Seneca and Pliny.” ​The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political
Thought,​ edited by Christopher Rowe and Malcolm Schofield, by Simon Harrison and
Melissa Lane, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 532–545.
Powerpoint Week 3, “Stoicism and the Res Republica”, January 22, 2020

Purchase answer to see full

Why Choose Us

  • 100% non-plagiarized Papers
  • 24/7 /365 Service Available
  • Affordable Prices
  • Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
  • Will complete your papers in 6 hours
  • On-time Delivery
  • Money-back and Privacy guarantees
  • Unlimited Amendments upon request
  • Satisfaction guarantee

How it Works

  • Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
  • Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
  • Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
  • Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
  • From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.