Thomas Hobbes

Enlightment Thinker Poster

Thomas Hobbes (key facts)

  1. English philosopher in the 17th century, best known for his book "Leviathan".
  2. Born in Westport, England o April 5th, 1588. Died in 1679
  3. His thoughts influenced "The Elements Of Law"(1640), and De Cive (1642)
  4. 1640 he wrote a piece defending King Charles I's wide interpretation of his own rights in these matters, and royalist members of Parliament used sections of Hobbes' treatise in debates.

3 basic morals

  1. self-preservation- Hobbes believed that everyone's self-preservation was fundamental natural instinct. He believed it was essential to ground political philosophy on this basic principle.
  2. sovereignty and property- Hobbes believed property only exists after the creation of the sovereignty.
  3. The state of Nature- Hobbes believed that the natural law commanded to seek peace.


Throughout his life, Hobbes believed that the only true and correct form of government was the absolute monarchy. He argued this most forcefully in his landmark work, Leviathan. This belief stemmed from the central tenet of Hobbes' natural philosophy that human beings are, at their core, selfish creatures.


  1. "During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe,they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man".
  2. "The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions."