Thomas Hobbes

Ashley Johnson and Julia Robe

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Early Life and Education

  • Born in England in 1588
  • He was abandoned by his father
  • He was raised by his brother Francis
  • Graduated from Oxford University
  • He toured Europe with William Cavendish (junior)
  • He expanded his own knowledge of philosophy
  • Regular philosophic debater in Paris
  • Developed a set of arguments called The Elements of Law

Life in Paris

  • First area of serious study concerned the physical doctrine of motion
  • He would single out man from nature, and show what specific bodily motions were involved in the production of a of sensation, knowledge, affections and passions
  • He considered how men were moved to enter into society, and argued how this would go if men were not falling back into "brutishness and misery."
  • He proposed to unite the separate phenomena of body, man and the state
  • He built a good reputation in philosophic circles

Civil War and Hobbes

  • Hobbes was a math teacher to Charles, Prince of Wales
  • The exiled royalists led Hobbes to produce an English book to set forth his theory of civil government
  • Soon Hobbes was more praised than any other thinker of his time

Later Life

  • Hobbes eventually could never publish anything in England on subjects relating to human conduct
  • Some of his works was printed in Amsterdam because he could not obtain the censor's license for publication in England
  • For some time, he wasn't even allowed to respond to whatever his enemies tried
  • Although these things happened, his reputation is still known as noble
  • He is said to have uttered the last words "A great leap in the dark" before passing away