Macchiavelli's The Prince
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Machiavelli's definition of virtue states that qualities which are praised in an individual by other people, namely; generosity, compassion, and piety define their virtuousness. He slao states that vituous behavior in a Prince can actually backfire, make him weak; therefore, a prince should always strive to make himself look like a virtuous person, but that he should not always act as such. Any action, honest or dishonest is allowed to the prince as long as he makes his decisions based on the good of his country or state.