Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
  • Born: April 5, 1588
  • Died: December 4, 1679
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Philosopher









Thomas Hobbes, in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory. 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.

Quote Topics Cited
...we must forgive him who repents, and asketh pardon for what is past; having first taken caution for the time to come Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
[Politics is a] war of all against all … a quest for power after power that ceaseth only in death. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
… those things to be held in common which cannot be divided Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A man's conscience and his judgment is the same thing, and, as the judgment, so also the conscience may be erroneous. Human Nature
All men therefore among themselves are by nature equal; the inequality we now discern, hath its spring from the Civil Law. Equality & Equal Opportunity
All Society therefore is either for Gain, or for Glory; (i.e.) not so much for love of our Fellowes Miscellaneous
Another noxious disease of the mind is theirs, who having little employment, want Honor and Dignity Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Covenants without the sword are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Drunkenness, which we have therefore in the last place numbred among the breaches of the Naturall Law, because it hinders the use of right Reason Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
Fear of power invisible, feigned by the mind or imagined from tales publicly allowed, is religion; not allowed, superstition Religion & God
For all laws are general judgments, or sentences of the legislator; as also every particular judgment is a law to him whose case is judged. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
For the security of particular men, and, by consequence for the common peace, it is necessary that the right of using the Sword for punishment, be transferred to some Man or Counsel, that Man or Counsel is necessarily understood by Right to have the supreme Power in the City. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Good men must defend themselves by taking to them for a Sanctuary the two daughters of War, Deceit and Violence: Defense & National Security
He that is taken and put into prisoner chains is not conquered, though overcome; for he is still an enemy. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
If a man by the terror of present death, be compelled to do a fact against the Law, he is totally Excused; because no Law can oblige a man to abandon his own preservation. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
If all things were equally in all men, nothing would be prized. Human Nature
In a Democracy, look how many … many powerful Orators there are with the people. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
In revenge and punishments we must have our eye not at the evill past, but the future good. That is: It is not lawfull to inflict punishment for any other end, but that the offender may be corrected, or that others warned by his punishment may become better Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
In the nature of man we find three principle causes of quarrel. First, competition; second diffidence; thirdly, glory. Human Nature
In vain do they worship peace at home, who cannot defend themselves against foreigners. War & Peace
In vain doe they worship peace at home, who cannot defend themselves against forrainers. Defense & National Security
it is in vaine for a man to have a Right to the end, if the Right to the necessary meanes be deny'd him. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is necessarily requisite to the peoples defense, that they be fore-armed. Now to be fore-armed is to be furnished with Soldiers, Armies, Ships, Forts and Monies, before the danger be instant; for the listing of Soldiers, and taking up of Arms after a blow is given, is too late at least, if not impossible. Defense & National Security
it much more conduceth to Peace to prevent brawles from arising, than to appease them being risen War & Peace
Law … is but words and paper without the hands and swords of men Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Environment & Environmentalism
Men condemne the same things in others, which they approve in themselves; on the other side, they publickly commend what they privately condemne; Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of the body and mind, as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. Equality & Equal Opportunity
No Discourse whatsoever, can End in absolute Knowledge of Fact. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
No law made after a fact done, can make it a crime. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
No man must be Judge who propounds unto himself any hope of profit, or glory, from the victory of either party. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
nothing more afflicts the mind of man than Poverty Poverty
Of God and Evil, there is nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common Rule of Good and Evil, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
One who deserteth the Means, deserteth the Ends Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Silence is sometimes an argument of Consent. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
The cause of mutual fear consists partly in the natural equality of men Miscellaneous
The law is the public conscience. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The most frequent reason why men desire to hurt each other, ariseth hence, that many men at the same time have an Appetite to the same thing; which yet very often they can neither enjoy in common, nor yet divide it. Miscellaneous
The Papacy is not other than the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof. Miscellaneous
The passions of men are in themselves no sin. No more are the actions that proceed from those passions until they know that a law forbids them, which till laws be made, they cannot know. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
There be some, that taking pleasure in contemplating their own power in the acts of conquest, which they pursue farther than their security requires Power
There is nothing more dangerous than debate in a crowd. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
There is scarce any Principle, neither in the worship of God, nor humane sciences, from whence there may not spring dissentions, discords, reproaches, and by degrees war it self Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy, and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion. Religion & God
They which find themselves grieved under a democracy, call it anarchy. Democracies & Republics
They who among men obtain the chiefest Dominion, cannot be subject to Laws properly so called, that is to say, to the will of men, because to be chief, and subject, are contradictories; Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
This submission of the wills of all those men to the will of one man, or one Counsel, is then made, when each one of them obligeth himself by contract to every one of the rest, not to resist the will of that one man, or counsel, to which he hath submitted himselfe; that is, that he refuse him not the use of his wealth, and strength, against any others whatsoever (for he is supposed still to retain a Right of defending himself against violence) and this is called UNION Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
To have done more hurt to a man than he can, or is willing to expiate, inclineth the doer to hate the sufferer. For he must expect revenge or forgiveness; both of which are hateful. Human Nature
Unnecessary laws are not good laws, but traps for money. Legislating & Legislative Process
We are oblig'd therefore, by promises proceeding from fear, except the Civill Law forbid them, by vertue whereof, that which is promised becomes unlawfull. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Wee see even in well-governed States, where there are lawes and punishments appointed for offendors, yet particular men travell not without their Sword by their sides, for their defences, neither sleep they without shutting not only their doores against their fellow Subjects, but also their Trunks and Coffers for feare of domestiques. Can men give a clearer testimony of the distrust they have each of other, and all, of all? Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Words are wise men's counters—they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Yet all the poor commonly lay the blame on the Evil Government, excusing their own sloth, and luxury, as if their private goods forsooth were wasted by public exactions. Poverty
A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life. Life
A man's conscience and his judgment is the same thing; and as the judgment, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.
A wise man should so write (though in words understood by all men) that wise men only should be able to commend him.
All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called 'Facts'. They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain.
Curiosity is the lust of the mind.
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. Time ;Power ;War & Peace
Fear of things invisible in the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion. Religion & God
Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues. War & Peace
He that is taken and put into prison or chains is not conquered, though overcome; for he is still an enemy.
I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. Power ;Death
In the state of nature profit is the measure of right. Nature
It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly.
Leisure is the Mother of Philosophy.
No man's error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.
Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation.
Prudence is but experience, which equal time, equally bestows on all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto. Time
Science is the knowledge of consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves. Nature
Such truth, as opposeth no man's profit, nor pleasure, is to all men welcome. Truth
Sudden glory is the passion which maketh those grimaces called laughter.
That a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself. War & Peace
The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone. War & Peace
The disembodied spirit is immortal; there is nothing of it that can grow old or die. But the embodied spirit sees death on the horizon as soon as its day dawns. Death
The flesh endures the storms of the present alone; the mind, those of the past and future as well as the present. Gluttony is a lust of the mind. Future
The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them. Power
The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition and mutual envy of the living.
The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject, but man only.
The right of nature... is the liberty each man hath to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life. Life ;Nature ;Power
The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame or blame.
There is no such thing as perpetual tranquillity of mind while we live here; because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense. Life
They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that dislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.
Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech.
War consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known. Time ;War & Peace
When all the world is overcharged with inhabitants, then the last remedy of all is war, which provideth for every man, by victory or death. Death ;War & Peace
Words are the money of fools. Money, Coins & Minting