The Federalist Papers

How Madison viewed human nature?

What kind of human nature did Madison studied in his paper Federalist # 10?

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Madison saw depravity in human nature, but he saw virtue as well. His view of human nature may have owed more to John Locke than to John Calvin. In any case, as Saul K. Padover asserted more than a half-century ago, Madison often appeared to steer a middle course between the extremes.

Moderation and balance permeated Madison's whole thought. At the Constitutional Convention he took a middle position between what today would be called the Right and the Left, between men like Hamilton who distrusted the people and those like Wilson who had confidence in them. In Madison's view, people, whether Americans or others, were neither inherently good nor naturally bad; they were, he argued, what society made them. If shown confidence, they would be likely to reciprocate it; if degraded by their rulers, they would become depraved.

Padover, The Complete Madison: His Basic Writings