Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes (/hɒbz/; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury,[4] was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy.[5][6] Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory.[7] In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy.

Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes (portrait)
Born5 April 1588
Died4 December 1679 (aged 91)
Alma materMagdalen Hall, Oxford
Era17th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolSocial contract, classical realism, empiricism, determinism, nominalism,[1] materialism,[1] corpuscularianism,[2] ethical egoism
Main interests
Political philosophy, history, ethics, geometry

Early life and education

Thomas Hobbes was born at Westport, now part of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England, on 5 April 1588.[8] Born prematurely when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Hobbes later reported that "my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear."[9] His childhood is almost completely unknown, and his mother's name is unknown.[10] His father, Thomas Sr., was the vicar of Charlton and Westport. Thomas Hobbes, the younger, had a brother Edmund, about two years older, and a sister. Thomas Sr. was involved in a fight with the local clergy outside his church, forcing him to leave London and abandon the family. The family was left in the care of Thomas Sr.'s older brother, Francis, a wealthy merchant with no family. Hobbes Jr. was educated at Westport church from age four, passed to the Malmesbury school, and then to a private school kept by a young man named Robert Latimer, a graduate of the University of Oxford. Hobbes was a good pupil, and around 1603 he went up to Magdalen Hall, the predecessor college to Hertford College, Oxford.[11][12][13] The principal John Wilkinson was a Puritan, and he had some influence on Hobbes.

At university, Hobbes appears to have followed his own curriculum; he was "little attracted by the scholastic learning" and completed his B.A. degree in 1608. He was recommended by Sir James Hussey, his master at Magdalen, as tutor to William, the son of William Cavendish, Baron of Hardwick (and later Earl of Devonshire), and began a lifelong connection with that family.[14]

Hobbes became a companion to the younger William and in 1610 they both took part in a grand tour of Europe. Hobbes was exposed to European scientific and critical methods during the tour, in contrast to the scholastic philosophy that he had learned in Oxford. His scholarly efforts at the time were aimed at a careful study of classic Greek and Latin authors. One outcome was, in 1628, his translation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, the first translation of that work into English from the original Greek. It has been argued that three of the discourses in the 1620 publication known as Horea Subsecivae: Observations and Discourses also represent the work of Hobbes from this period.[15]

Although he associated with literary figures like Ben Jonson and briefly worked as Francis Bacon's amanuensis, he did not extend his efforts into philosophy until after 1629. In June 1628, his employer Cavendish, then the Earl of Devonshire, died of the plague and the widowed countess dismissed Hobbes.

In Paris (1630–1637)

Thomas Hobbes.jpeg
Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes soon found work as a tutor to Gervase Clifton, the son of Sir Gervase Clifton, 1st Baronet mostly spent in Paris until 1631. Thereafter, he again found work with the Cavendish family, tutoring William Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, the eldest son of his previous pupil. Over the next seven years, as well as tutoring, he expanded his own knowledge of philosophy, awakening in him curiosity over key philosophic debates. He visited Florence in 1636 and was later a regular debater in philosophic groups in Paris, held together by Marin Mersenne.

Hobbes's first area of study was an interest in the physical doctrine of motion and physical momentum. Despite his interest in this phenomenon, he disdained experimental work as in physics. He went on to conceive the system of thought to the elaboration of which he would devote his life. His scheme was first to work out, in a separate treatise, a systematic doctrine of body, showing how physical phenomena were universally explicable in terms of motion, at least as motion or mechanical action was then understood. He then singled out Man from the realm of Nature and plants. Then, in another treatise, he showed what specific bodily motions were involved in the production of the peculiar phenomena of sensation, knowledge, affections and passions whereby Man came into relation with Man. Finally, he considered, in his crowning treatise, how Men were moved to enter into society, and argued how this must be regulated if Men were not to fall back into "brutishness and misery". Thus he proposed to unite the separate phenomena of Body, Man, and the State.

In England

Hobbes came home, in 1637, to a country riven with discontent, which disrupted him from the orderly execution of his philosophic plan. However, by the end of the Short Parliament in 1640, he had written a short treatise called The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic. It was not published and only circulated as a manuscript among his acquaintances. A pirated version, however, was published about ten years later. Although it seems that much of The Elements of Law was composed before the sitting of the Short Parliament, there are polemical pieces of the work that clearly mark the influences of the rising political crisis. Nevertheless, many (though not all) elements of Hobbes's political thought were unchanged between The Elements of Law and Leviathan, which demonstrates that the events of the English Civil War had little effect on his contractarian methodology. However, the arguments in Leviathan were modified from The Elements of Law when it came to the necessity of consent in creating political obligation. Namely, Hobbes wrote in The Elements of Law that Patrimonial kingdoms were not necessarily formed by the consent of the governed, while in Leviathan he argued that they were. This was perhaps a reflection either of Hobbes's thoughts about the engagement controversy or of his reaction to treatises published by Patriarchalists, such as Sir Robert Filmer, between 1640 and 1651.

When in November 1640 the Long Parliament succeeded the Short, Hobbes felt that he was in disfavour due to the circulation of his treatise and fled to Paris. He did not return for 11 years. In Paris, he rejoined the coterie around Mersenne and wrote a critique of the Meditations on First Philosophy of Descartes, which was printed as third among the sets of "Objections" appended, with "Replies" from Descartes, in 1641. A different set of remarks on other works by Descartes succeeded only in ending all correspondence between the two.

Hobbes also extended his own works in a way, working on the third section, De Cive, which was finished in November 1641. Although it was initially only circulated privately, it was well received, and included lines of argumentation that were repeated a decade later in Leviathan. He then returned to hard work on the first two sections of his work and published little except a short treatise on optics (Tractatus opticus) included in the collection of scientific tracts published by Mersenne as Cogitata physico-mathematica in 1644. He built a good reputation in philosophic circles and in 1645 was chosen with Descartes, Gilles de Roberval and others to referee the controversy between John Pell and Longomontanus over the problem of squaring the circle.

Civil war period (1642–1651)

The English Civil War began in 1642,[16] and when the royalist cause began to decline in mid-1644,[17] some of the king's supporters fled to Europe.[18] Many came to Paris and were known to Hobbes. This revitalised Hobbes's political interests and the De Cive was republished and more widely distributed. The printing began in 1646 by Samuel de Sorbiere through the Elsevier press in Amsterdam with a new preface and some new notes in reply to objections.

In 1647, Hobbes took up a position as mathematical instructor to the young Charles, Prince of Wales,[19] who had come to Paris from Jersey around July. This engagement lasted until 1648 when Charles went to Holland.

Hobbes de cive
Frontispiece from De Cive (1642)

The company of the exiled royalists led Hobbes to produce Leviathan, which set forth his theory of civil government in relation to the political crisis resulting from the war. Hobbes compared the State to a monster (leviathan) composed of men, created under pressure of human needs and dissolved by civil strife due to human passions. The work closed with a general "Review and Conclusion", in response to the war, which answered the question: Does a subject have the right to change allegiance when a former sovereign's power to protect is irrevocably lost?

During the years of composing Leviathan, Hobbes remained in or near Paris. In 1647, a serious illness that nearly killed him disabled him for six months. On recovering, he resumed his literary task and completed it by 1650. Meanwhile, a translation of De Cive was being produced; scholars disagree about whether it was Hobbes who translated it.

In 1650, a pirated edition of The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic was published.[20] It was divided into two small volumes (Human Nature, or the Fundamental Elements of Policie and De corpore politico, or the Elements of Law, Moral and Politick).[21]

In 1651, the translation of De Cive was published under the title Philosophicall Rudiments concerning Government and Society. Also, the printing of the greater work proceeded, and finally appeared in mid-1651, titled Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common Wealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil. It had a famous title-page engraving depicting a crowned giant above the waist towering above hills overlooking a landscape, holding a sword and a crozier and made up of tiny human figures. The work had immediate impact. Soon, Hobbes was more lauded and decried than any other thinker of his time. The first effect of its publication was to sever his link with the exiled royalists, who might well have killed him. The secularist spirit of his book greatly angered both Anglicans and French Catholics. Hobbes appealed to the revolutionary English government for protection and fled back to London in winter 1651. After his submission to the Council of State, he was allowed to subside into private life in Fetter Lane.

Leviathan

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
Frontispiece of Leviathan

In Leviathan, Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments and creating an objective science of morality. Much of the book is occupied with demonstrating the necessity of a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war.

Beginning from a mechanistic understanding of human beings and their passions, Hobbes postulates what life would be like without government, a condition which he calls the state of nature. In that state, each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This, Hobbes argues, would lead to a "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes). The description contains what has been called one of the best-known passages in English philosophy, which describes the natural state humankind would be in, were it not for political community:[22]

In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.[23]

In such a state, people fear death and lack both the things necessary to commodious living, and the hope of being able to toil to obtain them. So, in order to avoid it, people accede to a social contract and establish a civil society. According to Hobbes, society is a population and a sovereign authority, to whom all individuals in that society cede some rights for the sake of protection. Any power exercised by this authority cannot be resisted, because the protector's sovereign power derives from individuals' surrendering their own sovereign power for protection. The individuals are thereby the authors of all decisions made by the sovereign.[24] "he that complaineth of injury from his sovereign complaineth that whereof he himself is the author, and therefore ought not to accuse any man but himself, no nor himself of injury because to do injury to one's self is impossible". There is no doctrine of separation of powers in Hobbes's discussion.[25] According to Hobbes, the sovereign must control civil, military, judicial and ecclesiastical powers, even the words.[26]

Opposition

John Bramhall

In 1654 a small treatise, Of Liberty and Necessity, directed at Hobbes, was published by Bishop John Bramhall.[27] Bramhall, a strong Arminian, had met and debated with Hobbes and afterwards wrote down his views and sent them privately to be answered in this form by Hobbes. Hobbes duly replied, but not for publication. However, a French acquaintance took a copy of the reply and published it with "an extravagantly laudatory epistle".[28] Bramhall countered in 1655, when he printed everything that had passed between them (under the title of A Defence of the True Liberty of Human Actions from Antecedent or Extrinsic Necessity). In 1656, Hobbes was ready with The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, in which he replied "with astonishing force"[28] to the bishop. As perhaps the first clear exposition of the psychological doctrine of determinism, Hobbes's own two pieces were important in the history of the free-will controversy. The bishop returned to the charge in 1658 with Castigations of Mr Hobbes's Animadversions, and also included a bulky appendix entitled The Catching of Leviathan the Great Whale.

John Wallis

Hobbes opposed the existing academic arrangements, and assailed the system of the original universities in Leviathan. He went on to publish De Corpore, which contained not only tendentious views on mathematics but also an erroneous proof of the squaring of the circle. This all led mathematicians to target him for polemics and sparked John Wallis to become one of his most persistent opponents. From 1655, the publishing date of De Corpore, Hobbes and Wallis went round after round trying to disprove each other's positions. After years of debate, the spat over proving the squaring of the circle gained such notoriety that it has become one of the most infamous feuds in mathematical history.

Religious views

Hobbes was accused of atheism by several contemporaries; Bramhall accused him of teachings that could lead to atheism. This was an important accusation, and Hobbes himself wrote, in his answer to Bramhall's The Catching of Leviathan, that "atheism, impiety, and the like are words of the greatest defamation possible".[29] Hobbes always defended himself from such accusations.[30] In more recent times also, much has been made of his religious views by scholars such as Richard Tuck and J. G. A. Pocock, but there is still widespread disagreement about the exact significance of Hobbes's unusual views on religion.

As Martinich has pointed out, in Hobbes's time the term "atheist" was often applied to people who believed in God but not in divine providence, or to people who believed in God but also maintained other beliefs that were inconsistent with such belief. He says that this "sort of discrepancy has led to many errors in determining who was an atheist in the early modern period".[31] In this extended early modern sense of atheism, Hobbes did take positions that strongly disagreed with church teachings of his time. For example, he argued repeatedly that there are no incorporeal substances, and that all things, including human thoughts, and even God, heaven, and hell are corporeal, matter in motion. He argued that "though Scripture acknowledge spirits, yet doth it nowhere say, that they are incorporeal, meaning thereby without dimensions and quantity".[32] (In this view, Hobbes claimed to be following Tertullian). Like John Locke, he also stated that true revelation can never disagree with human reason and experience,[33] although he also argued that people should accept revelation and its interpretations for the reason that they should accept the commands of their sovereign, in order to avoid war.

Later life

In 1658, Hobbes published the final section of his philosophical system, completing the scheme he had planned more than 20 years before. De Homine consisted for the most part of an elaborate theory of vision. The remainder of the treatise dealt cursorily with some of the topics more fully treated in the Human Nature and the Leviathan. In addition to publishing some controversial writings on mathematics and physics, Hobbes also continued to produce philosophical works. From the time of the Restoration, he acquired a new prominence; "Hobbism" became a byword for all that respectable society ought to denounce. The young king, Hobbes' former pupil, now Charles II, remembered Hobbes and called him to the court to grant him a pension of £100.

The king was important in protecting Hobbes when, in 1666, the House of Commons introduced a bill against atheism and profaneness. That same year, on 17 October 1666, it was ordered that the committee to which the bill was referred "should be empowered to receive information touching such books as tend to atheism, blasphemy and profaneness... in particular... the book of Mr. Hobbes called the Leviathan".[34] Hobbes was terrified at the prospect of being labelled a heretic, and proceeded to burn some of his compromising papers. At the same time, he examined the actual state of the law of heresy. The results of his investigation were first announced in three short Dialogues added as an Appendix to his Latin translation of Leviathan, published in Amsterdam in 1668. In this appendix, Hobbes aimed to show that, since the High Court of Commission had been put down, there remained no court of heresy at all to which he was amenable, and that nothing could be heresy except opposing the Nicene Creed, which, he maintained, Leviathan did not do.

The only consequence that came of the bill was that Hobbes could never thereafter publish anything in England on subjects relating to human conduct. The 1668 edition of his works was printed in Amsterdam because he could not obtain the censor's licence for its publication in England. Other writings were not made public until after his death, including Behemoth: the History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England and of the Counsels and Artifices by which they were carried on from the year 1640 to the year 1662. For some time, Hobbes was not even allowed to respond, whatever his enemies tried. Despite this, his reputation abroad was formidable.

His final works were an autobiography in Latin verse in 1672, and a translation of four books of the Odyssey into "rugged" English rhymes that in 1673 led to a complete translation of both Iliad and Odyssey in 1675.

Death

In October 1679 Hobbes suffered a bladder disorder, and then a paralytic stroke, from which he died on 4 December 1679, aged 91.[35] His last words were said to have been "A great leap in the dark", uttered in his final conscious moments.[36] His body was interred in St John the Baptist's Church, Ault Hucknall, in Derbyshire.[37]

Works (bibliography)

  • 1602. Latin translation of Euripides' Medea (lost).
  • 1620. Three of the discourses in the Horae Subsecivae: Observation and Discourses (A Discourse of Tacitus, A Discourse of Rome, and A Discourse of Laws).[38]
  • 1626. De Mirabilis Pecci, Being the Wonders of the Peak in Darby-shire, (a poem first published in 1636)
  • 1629. Eight Books of the Peloponnesian Warre, translation with an Introduction of Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
  • 1630. A Short Tract on First Principles, British Museum, Harleian MS 6796, ff. 297–308: critical edition with commentary and French translation by Jean Bernhardt: Court traité des premiers principes, Paris, PUF, 1988 (authorship doubtful: this work is attributed by some critics to Robert Payne).[39]
  • 1637 A Briefe of the Art of Rhetorique (in Molesworth's edition the title is The Whole Art of Rhetoric). A new edition has been edited by John T. Harwood: The Rhetorics of Thomas Hobbes and Bernard Lamy, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1986. (Authorship probable: While Karl Schuhmann firmly rejects the attribution of this work to Hobbes, disagreeing with Quentin Skinner, who has come to agree with Schuhmann, a preponderance of scholarship disagrees with Schuhmann's idiosyncratic assessment.)[40]
  • 1639. Tractatus opticus II (British Library, Harley MS 6796, ff. 193–266; first complete edition 1963)[41]
  • 1640. Elements of Law, Natural and Politic (circulated only in handwritten copies, first printed edition, without Hobbes's permission in 1650)
  • 1641. Objectiones ad Cartesii Meditationes de Prima Philosophia (Third series of Objections)
  • 1642. Elementorum Philosophiae Sectio Tertia de Cive (Latin, first limited edition)
  • 1643. De Motu, Loco et Tempore (first edition 1973 with the title: Thomas White's De Mundo Examined)[42]
  • 1644. Part of the Praefatio to Mersenni Ballistica (in F. Marini Mersenni minimi Cogitata physico-mathematica. In quibus tam naturae quàm artis effectus admirandi certissimis demonstrationibus explicantur)
  • 1644. Opticae, liber septimus, (written in 1640) in Universae geometriae mixtaeque mathematicae synopsis, edited by Marin Mersenne (reprinted by Molesworth in OL V pp. 215–48 with the title Tractatus Opticus)
  • 1646. A Minute or First Draught of the Optiques (Harley MS 3360; Molesworth published only the dedication to Cavendish and the conclusion in EW VII, pp. 467–71)
  • 1646. Of Liberty and Necessity (published without the permission of Hobbes in 1654)
  • 1647. Elementa Philosophica de Cive (second expanded edition with a new Preface to the Reader)
  • 1650. Answer to Sir William Davenant's Preface before Gondibert
  • 1650. Human Nature: or The fundamental Elements of Policie (first thirteen chapters of The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, published without Hobbes's authorisation)
  • 1650. Pirated edition of The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, repackaged to include two parts:
    • Human Nature, or the Fundamental Elements of Policie (chapters 14–19 of Part One of the Elements of 1640)
    • De Corpore Politico (Part Two of the Elements of 1640)
  • 1651. Philosophicall Rudiments concerning Government and Society (English translation of De Cive)[43]
  • 1651. Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil
  • 1654. Of Libertie and Necessitie, a Treatise
  • 1655. De Corpore (Latin)
  • 1656. Elements of Philosophy, The First Section, Concerning Body (anonymous English translation of De Corpore)
  • 1656. Six Lessons to the Professor of Mathematics
  • 1656. The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance (reprint of Of Libertie and Necessitie, a Treatise, with the addition of Bramhall's reply and Hobbes's reply to Bramahall's reply)
  • 1657. Stigmai, or Marks of the Absurd Geometry, Rural Language, Scottish Church Politics, and Barbarisms of John Wallis
  • 1658. Elementorum Philosophiae Sectio Secunda De Homine
  • 1660. Examinatio et emendatio mathematicae hodiernae qualis explicatur in libris Johannis Wallisii
  • 1661. Dialogus physicus, sive De natura aeris
  • 1662. Problematica Physica (translated in English in 1682 as Seven Philosophical Problems)
  • 1662. Seven Philosophical Problems, and Two Propositions of Geometru (published posthumously)
  • 1662. Mr. Hobbes Considered in his Loyalty, Religion, Reputation, and Manners. By way of Letter to Dr. Wallis (English autobiography)
  • 1666. De Principis & Ratiocinatione Geometrarum
  • 1666. A Dialogue between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England (published in 1681)
  • 1668. Leviathan (Latin translation)
  • 1668. An answer to a book published by Dr. Bramhall, late bishop of Derry; called the Catching of the leviathan. Together with an historical narration concerning heresie, and the punishment thereof (published in 1682)
  • 1671. Three Papers Presented to the Royal Society Against Dr. Wallis. Together with Considerations on Dr. Wallis his Answer to them
  • 1671. Rosetum Geometricum, sive Propositiones Aliquot Frustra antehac tentatae. Cum Censura brevi Doctrinae Wallisianae de Motu
  • 1672. Lux Mathematica. Excussa Collisionibus Johannis Wallisii
  • 1673. English translation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey
  • 1674. Principia et Problemata Aliquot Geometrica Antè Desperata, Nunc breviter Explicata & Demonstrata
  • 1678. Decameron Physiologicum: Or, Ten Dialogues of Natural Philosophy
  • 1679. Thomae Hobbessii Malmesburiensis Vita. Authore seipso (Latin autobiography, translated into English in 1680)
Posthumous works
  • 1680. An Historical Narration concerning Heresie, And the Punishment thereof
  • 1681. Behemoth, or The Long Parliament (written in 1668, unpublished at the request of the King, first pirated edition 1679)
  • 1682. Seven Philosophical Problems (English translation of Problematica Physica, 1662)
  • 1682. A Garden of Geometrical Roses (English translation of Rosetum Geometricum, 1671)
  • 1682. Some Principles and Problems in Geometry (English translation of Principia et Problemata, 1674)
  • 1688. Historia Ecclesiastica Carmine Elegiaco Concinnata
Complete editions
  • Thomae Hobbes Malmesburiensis Opera Philosophica quae Latina Scripsit, Studio et labore Gulielmi Molesworth, (Londini, 1839–1845). 5 volumes. Reprint: Aalen, 1966 (= OL).
  • Volume I. Elementorum Philosophiae I: De Corpore
  • Volume II. Elementorum Philosophiae II and III: De Homine and De Cive
  • Volume III. Latin version of Leviathan.
  • Volume IV. Various concerning mathematics, geometry and physics.
  • Volume V. Various short works.
  • The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; Now First Collected and Edited by Sir William Molesworth, Bart., (London: Bohn, 1839–45). 11 volumes. Reprint London, 1939-–; reprint: Aalen, 1966 (= EW).
  • TRIPOS ; in Three Discourses:
  • I. Human Nature, or the Fundamental Elements of Policy
  • II. De Corpore Politico, or the Elements of Law
  • III. Of Liberty and Necessity
  • An Answer to Bishop Bramhall's Book, called "The Catching of the Leviathan"
  • An Historical Narration concerning Heresy, and the Punishment thereof
  • Considerations upon the Reputation, Loyalty, Manners, and Religion of Thomas Hobbes
  • Answer to Sir William Davenant's Preface before "Gondibert"
  • Letter to the Right Honourable Edward Howard
  • Volume 5. The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, clearly stated and debated between Dr Bramhall Bishop of Derry and Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury.
  • Volume 6.
  • A Dialogue Between a Philosopher & a Student of the Common Laws of England
  • A Dialogue of the Common Law
  • Behemoth: the History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England, and of the Counsels and Artifices By Which They Were Carried On From the Year 1640 to the Year 1660
  • The Whole Art of Rhetoric (Hobbes's translation of his own Latin summary of Aristotle's Rhetoric published in 1637 with the title A Briefe of the Art of Rhetorique)
  • The Art of Rhetoric Plainly Set Forth. With Pertinent Examples For the More Easy Understanding and Practice of the Same (this work is not of Hobbes but by Dudley Fenner, The Artes of Logike and Rethorike, 1584)
  • The Art of Sophistry
  • Seven Philosophical Problems
  • Decameron Physiologicum
  • Proportion of a straight line to half the arc of a quadrant
  • Six lessons to the Savilian Professors of the Mathematics
  • ΣΤΙΓΜΑΙ, or Marks of the absurd Geometry etc. of Dr Wallis
  • Extract of a letter from Henry Stubbe
  • Three letters presented to the Royal Society against Dr Wallis
  • Considerations on the answer of Dr Wallis
  • Letters and other pieces
Posthumous works not included in the Molesworth editions
  • The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, edited with a preface and critical notes by Ferdinand Tönnies, London, 1889 (first complete edition).
  • Short Tract on First Principles, in The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, Appendix I, pp. 193–210.[44] (this work is now attributed to Robert Payne).[45]
  • Tractatus opticus II (1639, British Library, Harley MS 6796, ff. 193–266): first partial edition in The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, Appendix II, pp. 211–26; first complete edition (but omitting the diagrams) by Franco Alessio, Rivista critica di storia della filosofia, 18, 1963, pp. 147–228.
  • Critique du 'De mundo' de Thomas White, edited by Jean Jacquot and Harold Whitmore Jones, Paris, 1973, with three appendixes:
    • De Motibus Solis, Aetheris & Telluris (pp. 439–47: a Latin poem on the movement of the Earth).
    • Notes in English on an ancient redaction of some chapters of De Corpore (July 1643; pp. 448–60: MS 5297, National Library of Wales).
    • Notes for the Logica and Philosophia prima of the De Corpore (pp. 461–513: Chatsworth MS A10 and the notes of Charles Cavendish on a draft of the De Corpore: British Library, Harley MS 6083).
  • Of the Life and History of Thucydides, in Hobbes's Thucydides, edited by Richard Schlatter, New Brunswick, pp. 10–27, 1975.
  • Three Discourses: a Critical Modern Edition of Newly Identified Work of the Young Hobbes (TD), edited by Noel B. Reynolds and Arlene Saxonhouse, Chicago, 1975.
    • A Discourse upon the Beginning of Tacitus, in TD, pp. 31–67.
    • A Discourse of Rome, in TD, pp. 71–102.
    • A Discourse of Law, in TD, pp. 105–19.
  • Thomas Hobbes' A Minute or First Draught of the Optiques (British Library, Harley MS 3360). Critical Edition by Elaine C. Stroud, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983.
  • Of Passions, Edition of the unpublished manuscript Harley 6093 by Anna Minerbi Belgrado, in: Rivista di storia della filosofia, 43, 1988, pp. 729–38.
  • The Correspondence of Thomas Hobbes, edited by Noel Malcolm, Oxford: the Clarendon Edition, vol. 6–7, 1994 (I: 1622–1659; II: 1660–1679).
Translations in modern English
  • De Corpore, Part I. Computatio Sive Logica. Edited with an Introductory Essay by L C. Hungerland and G. R. Vick. Translation and Commentary by A. Martinich. New York: Abaris Books, 1981.
  • Thomas White's De mundo Examined, translation by H. W. Jones, Bradford: Bradford University Press, 1976 (the appendixes of the Latin edition (1973) are not enclosed).
New critical editions of Hobbes' works (in progress)
  • Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes, Oxford: Clarendon Press (10 volumes published of 27 planned).
  • Traduction des œuvres latines de Hobbes, under the direction of Yves Charles Zarka, Paris: Vrin (5 volumes published of 17 planned).

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b Thomas Hobbes (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  2. ^ Kenneth Clatterbaugh, The Causation Debate in Modern Philosophy, 1637-1739, Routledge, 2014, p. 69.
  3. ^ a b Sorell, Tom (26 January 1996). The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. doi:10.1017/CCOL0521410193. ISBN 9780521422444.
  4. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1682). Tracts of Mr. Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury: Containing I. Behemoth, the history of the causes of the civil wars of England, from 1640. to 1660. printed from the author's own copy: never printed (but with a thousand faults) before. II. An answer to Arch-bishop Bramhall's book, called the Catching of the Leviathan: never printed before. III. An historical narration of heresie, and the punishment thereof: corrected by the true copy. IV. Philosophical problems, dedicated to the King in 1662. but never printed before. W. Crooke. p. 339.
  5. ^ "Thomas Hobbes: Moral and Political Philosophy". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. UTM. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  6. ^ Sheldon, Dr. Garrett Ward (2003). The History of Political Theory: Ancient Greece to Modern America. Peter Lang. p. 253. ISBN 9780820423005.
  7. ^ Lloyd, Sharon A.; Sreedhar, Susanne (12 February 2012). "Hobbes's Moral and Political Philosophy". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Thomas Hobbes Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  9. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1679). "Opera Latina". In Molesworth, William (ed.). Vita carmine expressa. I. London. p. 86.
  10. ^ Jacobson, Norman; Rogow, Arnold A. (1986). Thomas Hobbes: Radical in the Service of Reaction. Political Psychology. 8. p. 469. doi:10.2307/3791051. ISBN 9780393022889. ISSN 0162-895X. JSTOR 3791051. LCCN 79644318. OCLC 44544062.
  11. ^ "Philosophy at Hertford College". Oxford: Hertford College. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  12. ^ Helden, Al Van (1995). "Hobbes, Thomas". The Galileo Project. Rice University. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  13. ^ King, Preston T. (1993). Thomas Hobbes: Politics and law. Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-41508083-5.
  14. ^ O'Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. (November 2002). "Thomas Hobbes". School of Mathematics and Statistics. Scotland: University of St Andrews. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  15. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1995). Reynolds, Noel B.; Saxonhouse, Arlene W. (eds.). Three Discourses: A Critical Modern Edition of Newly Identified Work of the Young Hobbes. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226345451.
  16. ^ "English Civil Wars". History.com. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  17. ^ Professor Morrill (17 February 2011). "British History in depth: Oliver Cromwell". BBC History. BBC. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  18. ^ Stoyle, Dr Mike (17 February 2011). "Choosing Sides in the English Civil War". BBC History. BBC. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  19. ^ "People". NNDB. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  20. ^ Vardanyan, Vilen (10 January 2011). Panorama of Psychology. AuthorHouse. p. 72. ISBN 9781456700324.
  21. ^ Yelegaonkar, Shrikant (2009). Western Thinker's in Political Science. Lulu.com. p. 140. ISBN 9781329082779.
  22. ^ Gaskin. "Introduction". Human Nature and De Corpore Politico. Oxford University Press. p. xxx.
  23. ^ "Chapter XIII.: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind As Concerning Their Felicity, and Misery.". Leviathan.
  24. ^ Gaskin. "Of the Rights of Sovereigns by Institution". Leviathan. Oxford University Press. p. 117.
  25. ^ "1000 Makers of the Millennium", p. 42. Dorling Kindersley, 1999
  26. ^ Vélez, F., La palabra y la espada (2014)
  27. ^ Ameriks, Karl; Clarke, Desmond M. (2007). Chappell, Vere (ed.). Hobbes and Bramhall on Liberty and Necessity (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 31. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511495830. ISBN 9780511495830. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  28. ^ a b Robertson, George Croome. "Hobbes, Thoms". Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1911. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  29. ^ p. 282 of Molesworth's edition.
  30. ^ Martinich, A. P. (1995). A Hobbes Dictionary. Cambridge: Blackwell. p. 35.
  31. ^ Martinich, A. P. (1995). A Hobbes Dictionary. Cambridge: Blackwell. p. 31.
  32. ^ Human Nature I.XI.5.
  33. ^ Leviathan III.xxxii.2. "...we are not to renounce our Senses, and Experience; nor (that which is undoubted Word of God) our naturall Reason".
  34. ^ "House of Commons Journal Volume 8". British History Online. Retrieved 14 January 2005.
  35. ^ Grounds, Eric; Tidy, Bill; Stilgoe, Richard (25 November 2014). The Bedside Book of Final Words. Amberley Publishing Limited. p. 20. ISBN 9781445644646.
  36. ^ Norman Davies, Europe: A history p. 687
  37. ^ Coulter, Michael L.; Myers, Richard S.; Varacalli, Joseph A. (5 April 2012). Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy: Supplement. Scarecrow Press. p. 140. ISBN 9780810882751.
  38. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1995). Reynolds, Noel; Saxonhouse, Arlene (eds.). Three Discourses: A Critical Modern Edition of Newly Identified Work of the Young Hobbes. University of Chicago Press.
  39. ^ Richard Tuck, Timothy Raylor, and Noel Malcolm vote for Robert Payne. Karl Schuhmann, Cees Leijenhorst, and Frank Horstmann vote for Thomas Hobbes. See the excellent and extended essays Robert Payne, the Hobbes Manuscripts, and the 'Short Tract' (Noel Malcolm, in: Aspects of Hobbes. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2002. pp. 80–145) and Der vermittelnde Dritte (Frank Horstmann, in: Nachträge zu Betrachtungen über Hobbes' Optik. Mackensen, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-926535-51-1. pp. 303–428.)
  40. ^ Schuhmann, Karl (1998). "Skinner's Hobbes". British Journal for the History of Philosophy. 6 (1): 115. p. 118. Skinner, in Visions of Politics, affirms Schuhmann's view: see vol. 3, p. 4, fn. 27. Ioannis Evrigenis presents a summary of this confusing episode, as well as most relevant literature, in Evrigenis, Ioannis D. (2016). Images of Anarchy: The Rhetoric and Science in Hobbes's State of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., p. 48, n. 13.
  41. ^ For this dating see the convincing arguments given by Frank Horstmann, Nachträge zu Betrachtungen über Hobbes' Optik. Mackensen, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-926535-51-1. pp. 19–94
  42. ^ A critical analysis of Thomas White (1593–1676) De mundo dialogi tres, Parisii, 1642.
  43. ^ Modern scholars are divided as to whether or not this translation was done by Hobbes. For a pro-Hobbes account see H. Warrender's introduction to De Cive: The English Edition in The Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes (Oxford, 1984). For the contra-Hobbes account see Noel Malcolm, "Charles Cotton, Translator of Hobbes's De Cive" in Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford, 2002)
  44. ^ critical edition: Court traité des premiers principes, text, French translation and commentary by Jean Bernhardt, Paris: PUF, 1988
  45. ^ Timothy Raylor, "Hobbes, Payne, and A Short Tract on First Principles", The Historical Journal, 44, 2001, pp. 29–58.

Sources

Further reading

General resources

  • MacDonald, Hugh & Hargreaves, Mary. Thomas Hobbes, a Bibliography, London: The Bibliographical Society, 1952.
  • Hinnant, Charles H. (1980). Thomas Hobbes: A Reference Guide, Boston: G. K. Hall & Co.
  • Garcia, Alfred (1986). Thomas Hobbes: bibliographie internationale de 1620 à 1986, Caen: Centre de Philosophie politique et juridique Université de Caen.

Critical studies

  • Brandt, Frithiof (1928). Thomas Hobbes' Mechanical Conception of Nature, Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.
  • Jesseph, Douglas M. (1999). Squaring the Circle. The War Between Hobbes and Wallis, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Leijenhorst, Cees (2002). The Mechanisation of Aristotelianism. The Late Aristotelian Setting of Thomas Hobbes' Natural Philosophy, Leiden: Brill.
  • Lemetti, Juhana (2011). Historical Dictionary of Hobbes's Philosophy, Lanham: Scarecrow Press.
  • Macpherson, C. B. (1962). The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Malcolm, Noel (2002). Aspects of Hobbes, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • MacKay-Pritchard, Noah (2019). "Origins of the State of Nature", London
  • Malcolm, Noel (2007). Reason of State, Propaganda, and the Thirty Years' War: An Unknown Translation by Thomas Hobbes, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Manent, Pierre (1996). An Intellectual History of Liberalism, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Martinich, A. P. (2003) "Thomas Hobbes" in The Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 281: British Rhetoricians and Logicians, 1500–1660, Second Series, Detroit: Gale, pp. 130–44.
  • Martinich, A. P. (1995). A Hobbes Dictionary, Cambridge: Blackwell.
  • Martinich, A. P. (1997). Thomas Hobbes, New York: St. Martin's Press.
  • Martinich, A. P. (1992). The Two Gods of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes on Religion and Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Martinich, A. P. (1999). Hobbes: A Biography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Narveson, Jan; Trenchard, David (2008). "Hobbes, Thomas (1588–1676)". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). Hobbes, Thomas (1588–1679). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 226–27. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n137. ISBN 978-1412965804. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
  • Oakeshott, Michael (1975). Hobbes on Civil Association, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Pettit, Philip (2008). Made with Words. Hobbes on Language, Mind, and Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Robinson, Dave and Groves, Judy (2003). Introducing Political Philosophy, Icon Books. ISBN 1-84046-450-X.
  • Ross, George MacDonald (2009). Starting with Hobbes, London: Continuum.
  • Shapin, Steven and Shaffer, Simon (1995). Leviathan and the Air-Pump. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Skinner, Quentin (1996). Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Skinner, Quentin (2002). Visions of Politics. Vol. III: Hobbes and Civil Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Stomp, Gabriella (ed.) (2008). Thomas Hobbes, Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Strauss, Leo (1936). The Political Philosophy of Hobbes; Its Basis and Its Genesis, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Strauss, Leo (1959). "On the Basis of Hobbes's Political Philosophy" in What Is Political Philosophy?, Glencoe, IL: Free Press, chap. 7.
  • Tönnies, Ferdinand (1925). Hobbes. Leben und Lehre, Stuttgart: Frommann, 3rd ed.
  • Tuck, Richard (1993). Philosophy and Government, 1572–1651, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Vélez, Fabio (2014). La palabra y la espada: a vueltas con Hobbes, Madrid: Maia.
  • Vieira, Monica Brito (2009). The Elements of Representation in Hobbes, Leiden: Brill Publishers.
  • Zagorin, Perez (2009). Hobbes and the Law of Nature, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

External links

Aloysius Martinich

Aloysius Patrick Martinich (born June 28, 1946) is an American analytic philosopher. He is the Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Professor of History at University of Texas at Austin. His area of interest is the nature and practice of interpretation; history of modern philosophy; the philosophy of language and religion; the history of political thinking and Thomas Hobbes.

Bellum omnium contra omnes

Bellum omnium contra omnes, a Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all", is the description that Thomas Hobbes gives to human existence in the state of nature thought experiment that he conducts in De Cive (1642) and Leviathan (1651). The common modern English usage is a war of "each against all" where war is rare and terms such as "competition" or "struggle" are more common.

Classical realism (international relations)

Classical realism is a theory of international relations established in the post-World War II era that seeks to explain international politics as a result of human nature. The theory is associated with thinkers such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes. Modern thinkers associated with classical realism are Carl von Clausewitz, Hans Morgenthau and Reinhold Niebuhr. Classical realist thought has since been overshadowed by neorealism after Kenneth Waltz's work became more widely accepted due to the rise of structuralism in North American international relations scholarship which favored the latter's emphasis on rationality rather than human nature as cause for political conflict.

Contractualism

Contractualism is a term in philosophy which refers either to a family of political theories in the social contract tradition (when used in this sense, the term is synonymous with contractarianism), or to the ethical theory developed in recent years by T. M. Scanlon, especially in his book What We Owe to Each Other (published 1998).Social contract theorists from the history of political thought include Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762), and Immanuel Kant (1797); more recently, John Rawls (1971), David Gauthier (1986) and Philip Pettit (1997).

De Corpore

De Corpore ("On the Body") is a 1655 book by Thomas Hobbes. As its full Latin title Elementorum philosophiae sectio prima De corpore implies, it was part of a larger work, conceived as a trilogy. De Cive had already appeared, while De Homine would be published in 1658. Hobbes had in fact been drafting De Corpore for at least ten years before its appearance, putting it aside for other matters. This delay affected its reception: the approach taken seemed much less innovative than it would have done in the previous decade.

George Aglionby

George Aglionby (c.1603–1643) was an English Royalist churchman, nominated in 1643 as Dean of Canterbury. He was a member of the Great Tew intellectual circle around Lucius Cary, and a friend and correspondent of Thomas Hobbes.

Gondibert

Gondibert is an epic poem by William Davenant. In it he attempts to combine the five-act structure of English Renaissance drama with the Homeric and Virgilian epic literary tradition. Davenant also sought to incorporate modern philosophical theories about government and passion, based primarily in the work of Thomas Hobbes, to whom Davenant sent drafts of the poem for review.A lengthy philosophical preface takes the form of a letter to Hobbes, and is printed in the first edition with Hobbes' own reply and comments. Though Davenant asserted that the completed work would be in five sections or "books", only the first two books and part of the third book were completed.

Igor Pribac

Igor Pribac (born 1958) is a Slovenian translator.

Born in Koper in the Slovenian Littoral, then part of former Yugoslavia, where he attended high school. He studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Ljubljana. He obtained a MA with a thesis on Spinoza's criticism of Descartes under the supervision of the philosopher Božidar Debenjak. In 1998, he obtained a PhD with a thesis on natural law in Hobbes and Spinoza. Since 1985, he has taught at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana.

He has translated several philosophical texts from English and Italian, including Will Kymlicka, Paolo Virno, Cesare Beccaria, and Thomas Hobbes.

He has also written on a variety of populist subjects, including psychology and psychoanalysis, natural law, early modern political theory, and the notion of post-modernism. He has published several very important reflections on contemporary issues, such as animal rights, television, or the changing role of marriage in post-modern societies, from a philosophical perspective. He has been a supporter of euthanasia and of the basic income and many other populist causes.

Leviathan (Hobbes book)

Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil—commonly referred to as Leviathan—is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651 (revised Latin edition 1668). Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan ranks as a classic Western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli's The Prince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature ("the war of all against all") could only be avoided by strong, undivided government.

Original position

The original position (OP) is a hypothetical situation developed by American philosopher John Rawls as a thought experiment to replace the imagery of a savage state of nature of prior political philosophers like Thomas Hobbes. In the original position, the parties select principles that will determine the basic structure of the society they will live in. This choice is made from behind a veil of ignorance, which would deprive participants of information about their particular characteristics: their ethnicity, social status, gender and, crucially, Conception of the Good (an individual's idea of how to lead a good life). This forces participants to select principles impartially and rationally.

In social contract theory, persons in the state of nature agree to the provisions of a contract that defines the basic rights and duties of citizens in a civil society. In Rawls's theory, Justice as Fairness, the original position plays the role that the state of nature does in the classical social contract tradition of Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke. The original position figures prominently in his 1971 book, A Theory of Justice. It has influenced a variety of thinkers from a broad spectrum of philosophical orientations.

As a thought experiment, the original position is a hypothetical position designed to accurately reflect what principles of justice would be manifest in a society premised on free and fair cooperation between citizens, including respect for liberty, and an interest in reciprocity.In the state of nature, it might be argued that certain persons (the strong and talented) would be able to coerce others (the weak and disabled) by virtue of the fact that the stronger and more talented would fare better in the state of nature. This coercion is sometimes thought to invalidate any contractual arrangement occurring in the state of nature. In the original position, however, representatives of citizens are placed behind a "veil of ignorance", depriving the representatives of information about the individuating characteristics of the citizens they represent. Thus, the representative parties would be unaware of the talents and abilities, ethnicity and gender, religion or belief system of the citizens they represent. As a result, they lack the information with which to threaten their fellows and thus invalidate the social contract they are attempting to agree to.

Polity

A polity is any kind of political entity. It is a group of people who are collectively united by a self-reflected cohesive force such as identity, who have a capacity to mobilize resources, and are organized by some form of institutionalized hierarchy.

Popular sovereignty

Popular sovereignty, or sovereignty of the peoples' rule, is the principle that the authority of a state and its government are created and sustained by the consent of its people, through their elected representatives (Rule by the People), who is the source of all political power. It is closely associated with social contract philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Popular sovereignty expresses a concept and does not necessarily reflect or describe a political reality. The people have the final say in government decisions. Benjamin Franklin expressed the concept when he wrote, "In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns".Americans founded their Revolution and government on popular sovereignty, but the term was also used in the 1850s to describe a highly controversial approach to slavery in the territories as propounded by senator Stephen A. Douglas. It meant that local residents of a territory would be the ones to decide if slavery would be permitted, and it led to bloody warfare in Bleeding Kansas as abolitionists and proponents of slavery flooded Kansas territory in order to decide the elections. An earlier development of popular sovereignty arose from philosopher Francisco Suárez and became the basis for Latin American independence. Popular sovereignty also can be described as the voice of the people.

Scientia potentia est

The phrase "scientia potentia est" (or "scientia est potentia" or also "scientia potestas est") is a Latin aphorism meaning "knowledge is power". It is commonly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, although there is no known occurrence of this precise phrase in Bacon's English or Latin writings. However, the expression "ipsa scientia potestas est" ('knowledge itself is power') occurs in Bacon's Meditationes Sacrae (1597). The exact phrase "scientia potentia est" was written for the first time in the 1668 version of the work Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, who was secretary to Bacon as a young man.

The related phrase "sapientia est potentia" is often translated as "wisdom is power".

Social contract

In moral and political philosophy, the social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority (of the ruler, or to the decision of a majority) in exchange for protection of their remaining rights or maintenance of the social order. The relation between natural and legal rights is often a topic of social contract theory. The term takes its name from The Social Contract (French: Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique), a 1762 book by Jean-Jacques Rousseau that discussed this concept. Although the antecedents of social contract theory are found in antiquity, in Greek and Stoic philosophy and Roman and Canon Law, the heyday of the social contract was the mid-17th to early 19th centuries, when it emerged as the leading doctrine of political legitimacy.

The starting point for most social contract theories is an examination of the human condition absent of any political order (termed the "state of nature" by Thomas Hobbes). In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point, social contract theorists seek to demonstrate why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up their natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order. Prominent of 17th- and 18th-century theorists of social contract and natural rights include Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel von Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762) and Immanuel Kant (1797), each approaching the concept of political authority differently. Grotius posited that individual humans had natural rights. Thomas Hobbes famously said that in a "state of nature", human life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". In the absence of political order and law, everyone would have unlimited natural freedoms, including the "right to all things" and thus the freedom to plunder, rape and murder; there would be an endless "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes). To avoid this, free men contract with each other to establish political community (civil society) through a social contract in which they all gain security in return for subjecting themselves to an absolute sovereign, one man or an assembly of men. Though the sovereign's edicts may well be arbitrary and tyrannical, Hobbes saw absolute government as the only alternative to the terrifying anarchy of a state of nature. Hobbes asserted that humans consent to abdicate their rights in favor of the absolute authority of government (whether monarchical or parliamentary). Pufendorf disputed Hobbes's equation of a state of nature with war. Alternatively, Locke and Rousseau argued that we gain civil rights in return for accepting the obligation to respect and defend the rights of others, giving up some freedoms to do so.

The central assertion that social contract theory approaches is that law and political order are not natural, but human creations. The social contract and the political order it creates are simply the means towards an end—the benefit of the individuals involved—and legitimate only to the extent that they fulfill their part of the agreement. Hobbes argued that government is not a party to the original contract and citizens are not obligated to submit to the government when it is too weak to act effectively to suppress factionalism and civil unrest. According to other social contract theorists, when the government fails to secure their natural rights (Locke) or satisfy the best interests of society (called the "general will" by Rousseau), citizens can withdraw their obligation to obey, or change the leadership through elections or other means including, when necessary, violence. Locke believed that natural rights were inalienable, and therefore the rule of God superseded government authority, while Rousseau believed that democracy (self-rule) was the best way to ensure welfare while maintaining individual freedom under the rule of law. The Lockean concept of the social contract was invoked in the United States Declaration of Independence. Social contract theories were eclipsed in the 19th century in favor of utilitarianism, Hegelianism and Marxism; they were revived in the 20th century, notably in the form of a thought experiment by John Rawls.

State of nature

The state of nature is a concept used in moral and political philosophy, religion, social contract theories and international law to denote the hypothetical conditions of what the lives of people might have been like before societies came into existence. Philosophers of the state of nature theory deduce that there must have been a time before organized societies existed, and this presumption thus raises questions such as: "What was life like before civil society?"; "How did government first emerge from such a starting position?," and; "What are the hypothetical reasons for entering a state of society by establishing a nation-state?".

In some versions of social contract theory, there are no rights in the state of nature, only freedoms, and it is the contract that creates rights and obligations. In other versions the opposite occurs: the contract imposes restrictions upon individuals that curtail their natural rights.

Societies existing before or without a political state are currently studied in such fields as paleolithic history, and the anthropological subfields of archaeology, cultural anthropology, social anthropology, and ethnology, which investigate the social and power-related structures of indigenous and uncontacted peoples living in tribal communities.

The King's Entertainment at Welbeck

The King's Entertainment at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire, alternatively titled Love's Welcome at Welbeck, was a masque or entertainment written by Ben Jonson, and performed on 21 May 1633 at the Welbeck estate of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle. It has been argued that the philosopher Thomas Hobbes may have participated in the entertainment as a performer.

Thomas Hobbes (priest)

Thomas Hobbes was Dean of Exeter during 1509.

Thomas Hobbes Scott

Thomas Hobbes Scott (17 April 1783 – 1 January 1860) was an English-born Anglican cleric active in Australia.

Scott was born in Kelmscott, Oxford, England, one of the youngest of eight children of James Scott, sometime vicar of Itchen Stoke, Hampshire, and chaplain ordinary to George III, and his wife Jane Elizabeth, née Harmood.Scott went to France after his father's death and was a vice-consul at Bordeaux and later went bankrupt as a wine merchant.Scott was a clerk to a British consulate in Italy. Scott matriculated at Oxford University at the late age of 30, on 11 October 1813, and graduated M.A. on 12 November 1818. He was at St Alban Hall, subsequently merged in Merton College. Early in 1819 he was appointed secretary of the commission of John Bigge and Governor Lachlan Macquarie was instructed that in the event of the death or illness of Bigge, Scott would take his place. After his return to England Scott took holy orders and became rector of Whitfield, Northumberland, in 1822.

Early in 1824, at the request of Earl Bathurst, Scott drew up an elaborate plan for providing for churches and schools in Australia. The main idea was that one-tenth of the lands in the colony should be vested in trustees for the support of churches and schools. Primary schools were to be followed by schools for agriculture and trades, and also schools to fit students for a university which was ultimately visualized. He also suggested that pending the establishment of the university a few of the ablest students should be awarded exhibitions to take them to Oxford or Cambridge. His plans were adopted in a modified form.

Scott was appointed archdeacon of New South Wales on 2 October 1824, and he arrived at Sydney on 7 May 1825. He was also a trustee of the clergy and school lands; this corporation, however, had neither land nor funds. Governor Brisbane opposed his suggestion that "government reserves" should be considered church and school lands, and with regard to land generally, comparatively little of it had even been surveyed. Scott too was working on the assumption that the control of education would be in the hands of the Church of England, which brought vigorous opposition from the Presbyterians, Wesleyans and Roman Catholics. Scott's connexion with Bigge and a friendship he had formed with John Macarthur tended to make him unpopular, and though Governor Darling spoke of him as amiable and well-disposed, he quarrelled with several men of the period. Kelmscott, Western Australia was named after his birthplace. On 1 January 1828 he sent his resignation to England and was succeeded in 1829 by Archdeacon, afterwards Bishop, William Grant Broughton. Scott's final report on the church and school establishment of New South Wales was dated 1 September 1829. He then returned to England, took charge of his parish at Whitfield, and was later made an honorary canon of Durham. He died at Whitfield on 1 January 1860.Scott was appointed a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council by reason of his office as archdeacon and was made a member of the Executive Council in 1825.Scott was a capable man who was arbitrary and autocratic. He could not get on with his own clergy, and when he visited Tasmania in 1826 a report he made on the state of religion and education raised similar antagonism to that he had experienced in Sydney. He was a hard worker, he had a fine conception of the place education should take in the colony, and during his five years in New South Wales the number of schools and the number of pupils attending regularly were both more than doubled. His proposed scheme of education in Australia could not be accepted at the time, largely because it assumed the ascendancy of the Church of England, but considered broadly it was a statesmanlike piece of work which must have had much influence on the plans that were later developed.

Train of thought

The train of thought or track of thought refers to the interconnection in the sequence of ideas expressed during a connected discourse or thought, as well as the sequence itself, especially in discussion how this sequence leads from one idea to another.

When a reader or listener "loses the train of thought" (i.e., loses the relation between consecutive sentences or phrases, or the relation between non-verbal concepts in an argument or presentation), comprehension is lost of the expressed or unexpressed thought.The term "train of thoughts" was introduced and elaborated as early as in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan, though with a somewhat different meaning (similar to the meaning used by the British associationists):

By Consequence, or train of thoughts, I understand that succession of one thought to another which is called, to distinguish it from discourse in words, mental discourse.

When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently.

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