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Thomas Hobbes

Bacground & Impact of Hobbes

Laura Berberi

on 22 September 2013

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Transcript of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes
- Thomas Hobbes believed that humans were basically selfish creatures who would do anything to better their position

-He believed that human-made law was much more important than natural law

- To prove this point, Hobbes wrote: "If men are naturally in a state of war, why do they always carry arms and why do they have keys to lock their doors?"

- Hobbes believes that governments were created to help protect people from their own selfishness and evil

Hobbes Ideas/Beliefs
Hobbes believed that the greatest power of government was that of the Leviathan or Sea Monster

Because the country needed an authority to provide direction and leadership, Hobbes believed in the rule of King

Hobbes believed that the power of democracy - allowing citizens to vote for government officials - would never work
Wealth and Property
- Hobbes stated that private property is a prudential matter. Citizens are only permitted to own so long as the State permits it or finds it useful

-There is no natural ‘mine’ or ‘thine,’ and that property must be understood as the creation of the sovereign state (Hobbes 1983 [1647])

"Thomas Hobbes"


Impact on Law & Society
Historical Background
Flipping Through The Pages
- According to Hobbes, security and perservation of peace, were fundamental to political & social justice

-He was not born to power or wealth, but he was lucky that his uncle was wealthy enough to provide for Hobbes and was able to send him to study at Oxford

-Hobbes intellectual abilities are what helped him get closer to power

-He later became a math tutor for King Charles II
- Born in England
April 5th 1588, Died December 4th 1679
Aged 91
Studied at Oxford University

-English Philosopher, best known for his work on political philosophy

-He was both an atheist and a republican

-His mother is unknown of and his father was also named Thomas Hobbes who was a local clergyman

-In 1651, Hobbes wrote one of his most famous work, entitled Leviathan

According to Hobbes, he believed that humans are physical objects, we are sophisticated machines all of whose functions and activities can be described and explained in purely mechanistic terms.

Hobbes is considered of having discerned the "laws of motion" for both human beings and human societies

Hobbes claims that he based his political philosophy on physiological principles that the thought could be illuminated by general laws of motion
"All mankind [is in] a perpetual and restless desire for power... that [stops] only in death." Consequently, giving power to the individual would create a dangerous situation that would start a "war of every man against every man" and make life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
By:Laura Berberi
Who Was Thomas Hobbes?
" If we could suppose a great multitude of men to consent in the observation of justice... without common power to keep them all in awe, we might as well suppose all mankind to do the same; then there neither would be nor need to be any civil government or common wealth at all" ( Morris 1981)
"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"
"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"
"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"
Full transcript