An Inquiry into the Ethical Position of the Political Realist School of Hans Morgenthau

This thesis begins with a brief overview of Morgenthau's six tenets of realism and of his method, designed to provide the reader with a general familiarity with the realist school. The fundamental assumptions of realism as proposed by Niebuhr are discussed in some detail since assumptions about the nature of man provide the basis for ethical considerations. The next section of the study deals with actual realist policy prescriptions in order to demonstrate the consequences of the ethical position of realism. The final approach to a clarification of the realist ethic in this study is the examination of some representative criticisms of realism. Conclusions concerning the nature of the realist ethic suggested throughout this study are tested against critiques by two non-realists and one who is in sympathy with realism, and conclusions are drawn as to the validity of the ethical position of realism.