Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes . English materialist philosopher, contemporary of his country’s bourgeois revolution, during which he emigrated to Paris . In this city he wrote his capital works: ‘Philosophical elements of the doctrine about the citizen 1642 ) and Leviathan 1651 ). In 1652 , he returned to England . He developed mechanical materialism, systematized the materialism of Bacon . [one]

His work Leviathan ( 1651 ) established the foundation of most of Western political philosophy. He is the theoretician par excellence of political absolutism . He is remembered for his work on political philosophy, although he also contributed in a wide range of fields, including history , geometry , theology , ethics , general philosophy , and political science .


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
    • 1 Death
  • 2 Work
  • 3 Phrases
  • 4 References
  • 5 Sources

Biographical synthesis

Born in 1588 . He learned at Oxford the Scholastic Philosophy , which did not convince him. He worked as tutor of noble families, which allowed him to know France and make contact with Cartesianism , which impressed him deeply. He wrote his Objections to the Cartesian Meditations , which were answered by Descartes himself . Between the years 1640 and 1651 he lived in Paris but as a refugee for having defended the royalist party in England .

In 1651 he returned to a then more tolerant England and, with the arrival of Charles II on the throne of his former disciple in 1660 , he received a royal pension and returned to have access to the highest sphere of government. In 1666 the House of Commons investigated his Leviathan because he was suspected of being an atheist.

He has been considered throughout the History of thought as a dark person, in fact in 1666 his books were burned in England for considering him an atheist. Later, after his death, his works were publicly burned again. In life Hobbes had two great enemies with whom he maintained strong tensions: the Church of England and the University of Oxford .


Died on 4 December as as 1679 at Hardwick Hall .


Hobbes’s work, however, is considered a line of rupture with the Middle Ages and his descriptions of the reality of the time are brutal. He was always in contact with the Royal Society of London , a scientific society founded in 1662 . Hobbes’s time is characterized by a great political division which confronted two well-defined sides:

  • Monarchists: who defended the absolute monarchy on the grounds that its legitimacy came directly from God.
  • Parliamentarians: They affirmed that sovereignty should be shared between the king and the people.

Hobbes is defined by being part of mechanistic materialism, a current that says that there is only one “body” and denies the existence of the soul. It also says that man is governed by the laws of the Universe . In these two concepts his thinking is similar to that of Spinoza , however it differs greatly from this one when he affirms that man is like a machine, since according to Hobbes, man continually moves to achieve his desires. Leviathan wrote a manual on human nature and how society is organized. Starting from the definition of man and his characteristics, he explains the appearance of Law and the different types of government that are necessary for coexistence in society.


  • Hope: Desire, accompanied by the idea of ​​being satisfied, is called hope; stripped of such an idea, despair.
  • Society: The basis of all great and lasting societies has consisted, not in the mutual will that men had, but in reciprocal fear.
  • Government: There are very few who are so foolish that they would rather not govern themselves than be governed by others.
  • Philosophy: Idleness is the mother of philosophy.
  • Freedom: A free man is one who, having the strength and talent to do a thing, does not find obstacles to his will.
  • HopeFrom the equality of abilities the equality of hopes arises in the achievement of our ends.
  • Society: The basis of all great and lasting societies has consisted, not in the mutual will that men had, but in reciprocal fear.
  • Evil: Man is a wolf to man.
  • Ideas: Ideas stimulate the mind.


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