37 Most Famous Thomas Hobbes Quotes

37 Most Famous Thomas Hobbes Quotes

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Thomas Hobbes was a political philosopher from England in the 1600′s. His most famous work was the book Leviathan which was the foundation for later Western political philosophy. He died at the age of 91.

“A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life.”

“A natural fool that could never learn by heart the order of numerall words, as one, two, and three, may observe every stroak of the Clock, and nod to it, or say one, one, one; but can never know what houre it strikes.”

“And as in other things, so in men, not the seller, but the buyer determines the Price.”

“And Beasts that have Deliberation, must necessarily also have Will.”

“And because the condition of Man, (as hath been declared in the precedent Chapter) is a condition of Warre of every one against everyone.”

“And hereby it comes to passe, that Intemperance, is naturally punished with Diseases; Rashness, with Mischance; Injustice; with Violence of Enemies; Pride, with Ruine; Cowardice, with
Oppression; Negligent government of Princes, with Rebellion; and Rebellion with Slaughter.”

“And seeing every man is presumed to do all things in order to his own benefit, no man is a fit Arbitrator in his own cause.”

“And the life of man solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

“And this Feare of things invisible, is the naturall Seed of that, which every one in himself calleth Religion; and in them that worship, or feare that Power otherwise than they do, Superstition.”

“And when all the world is overcharged with Inhabitants, then the last remedy of all is Warre, which provideth for every man, by Victory or Death.”

“But Aversion wee have for things, not only which we know have hurt us; but also that we do not know whether they will hurt us, or not.”

“But this priviledge, is allayed by another; and that is, by the priviledge of Absurdity; to which no living creature is subject, but man only.”

“Felicity is a continual progress of the desire from one object to another, the attaining of the former being still but the way to the latter.”

“For all uniting of strength by private men, is, if for evil intent, unjust; if for intent unknown, dangerous to the Publique, and unjustly concealed.”

“For 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: For they see their own wit at hand, and other men’s at a distance.”

“For such Truth as opposeth no man’s profit nor pleasure is to all men welcome.”

“From whence it follows, that were the publique and private interest are most closely united, there is the publique most advanced.”

“I know not how the world will receive it, nor how it may reflect on those that shall seem to favor it. For in a way beset with those that contend, on one side for too great Liberty, and on the other side for too much Authority, ’tis hard to passe between the points of both unwounded.”

“It is not easy to fall into any absurdity, unless it be by the length of an account; wherein he may perhaps forget what went before. For all men by nature reason alike, and well, when they have good principles.”

“It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.”

“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; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and Leisure: Where first were great and flourishing Cities, there was first the study of Philosophy.”

“No man is bound by the words themselves, either to kill himselfe, or any other man.”

“No man’s error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.”

“Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.”

“Science is the knowledge of Consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another: by which, out of that we can presently do, we know how to do something else when we will, or the like, another time.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The first cause of Absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of Method.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The source of every Crime, is some defect of the Understanding; or some error in Reasoning; or some sudden force of the Passions.”

“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.”

“Time, and Industry, produce everyday new knowledge.”

“To understand this for sense it is not required that a man should be a geometrician or a logician, but that he should be mad.”

“Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech.”