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by branlis30
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
Religious Studies

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Thomas Hobbes, born in Westport, England, on April 5, 1588, was known for his views on how humans could thrive in harmony while avoiding the perils and fear of societal conflict. His experience during a time of upheaval in England influenced his thoughts, which he captured in The Elements of Law (1640); De Cive [On the Citizen] (1642) and his most famous work, Leviathan (1651). Hobbes died in 1679.


Thomas Hobbes called for an all-powerful sovereign (the "Leviathan") who would serve the interests of the larger political community (i.e. England) by holding it tightly together under his sovereign authority—in order to curb the kind of human wantonness experienced in the Wars of Religion. For Hobbes such powerful rule was not to be founded on the ancient rule of "divine rights" of monarchs—but on the basis of the needs, even rights, of the community to be served by such anall-powerful ruler. In justifying this utilitarian approach to state-building, he used "natural" theory or logic rather than scripture or tradition, putting forth the first efforts to establish a modern "political science." (His arguments were not greeted warmly by the English monarchy, which found "divine rights" as the foundation of its power much more to its liking!)

Thomas Hobbes life was filled with many great achievements. He is commonly known as the founding father of political philosophy. He believed that a King should be in charge of all of the people. Thomas Hobbes believed that a world without any form of government in a world not worth living.

Lasting Impact

Thomas Hobbes left an everlasting influence on political thought. His idea of people being selfish and brutal and his thoughts on the role of government led to more investigations such as by John Locke. After the Revolution, his ideas also influenced federalists in arguments to adopt the Constitution.


AUTHOR:Hobbes, Thomas, 1588–1679.CITATION:Hobbes, Thomas. Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan. Vol. XXXIV, Part 5. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier ' Son, 1909–14;, 2001.






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