Bounded Rationality: He (p 177) observed, “A king can reign only with the help of others; one wheel alone does not move a chariot. Therefore, a king should appoint advisers as councilors and ministers and listen to their advice (1.7).”

Emphasis on pooling of Knowledge and Information: Kautilya stated, “Vishalaksha says ‘never can a single person arrive at the right decision. The work of government is dependent on [complete] knowledge??that which the king personally knows, that which is reported to him and that which he has to infer. To find out what is not known, to clarify doubts when there are alternatives, to obtain more information when only a part is known??all these can be done only with the help of advisers. Hence a king shall conduct his deliberations with advisers of mature intelligence. (As the saying goes :) ‘Despise no one, [but] listen to all views; for, wise man pays heed to all sensible advice, even those of a child’ (1.15).”

Page Chap 23, 72: “For the emperor is a secretive man, he keeps things to himself and never asks anyone’s advice. But, when his decisions begin to be discovered, which is when they begin to be put into effect, he begins to be criticized by those who are close to him, and, as one might expect, he is persuaded to change his mind. The result is that he undoes each day what he did the day before; that nobody ever knows what he really wants or intends to do; and that one cannot rely upon his decisions.

Chapter 23, Page 72: “A ruler, therefore, always take advice, but only when he wants to, not when others want him to; he should discourage everybody from giving him advice without being asked; but he should be always asking, and, moreover, he should listen patiently to the answers, provided they are truthful.”

“For this is a general rule without exceptions: A ruler who is not himself wise cannot be given good advice.”

Page 73: “This is how it has to be, for you will find men are always wicked, unless you give them no alternative but to be good. So we may conclude that good advice, no matter who it comes from, really comes from the ruler’s own good judgment, and that the ruler’s good judgment never comes from good advice.”

Qualification of an Adviser: He (p, 120) described, “A councilor or minister of the highest rank should be a native of the state, born in a high family and controllable [by the king]. He should have been trained in all the arts and have logical ability to foresee things. He should be intelligent, persevering, dexterous, eloquent, energetic, bold, brave, and able to endure adversities and firm in loyalty. He should neither be haughty or fickle. He should be amicable and not excite hatred or enmity in others (1.9).”

Qualifications of an Adviser: Chapter 22, page 71: “For there are three types of brains: One understands matters for itself, one follows the explanation of others, and one neither understands nor follows. The first is the best, the second excellent, the third useless.”

How many Advisers: He concluded, “[There should be no more than four advisers] because, with more than four, secrecy is rarely maintained. [While, normally, the king should consult three or four advisers,] he may, depending on the nature of the work and the special circumstances of each case, take a decision by himself, consult just one adviser, or even two. The opinions of the advisers shall be sought individually as well as together [as a group]. The reason why each one holds a particular opinion shall also be ascertained (1.15).”

No discussion on how many advisers a ruler should have

Conflicts of Interest: Kautilya (p, 200) also recommended, “No one who belongs to the side likely to be adversely affected by the project shall be consulted (1.15).”

Conflicts of Interest: Page 71: “When you see your adviser give more thought to his own interests than yours, and recognize everything he does is aimed at his own benefit, then you can be sure such a person will never be a good adviser.”