72 Insightful Quotes By Thomas Hobbes For The Savants
Thomas Hobbes was a famed English philosopher. He is considered as one of the founding fathers of modern political philosophy. ‘Leviathan’ is considered to be his best book. This book laid the foundation for the western political philosophy by establishing the social contract theory. Besides the contributions that he made to political philosophy, Hobbes also enriched several fields including geometry, ethics, general philosophy, physics of gases, history, theology and jurisprudence. Some of the fundamentals of European liberal thoughts were also developed by him. He was also the first one to advocate the need for a centralized government in order to save the society from external and internal dangers. Read through the thoughts, views and opinions by the great philosopher on life, relationships, society, government, human beings and more. Go through the most inspiring and thought-provoking quotes and sayings by Thomas Hobbes.
Curiosity is the lust of the mind. It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law. 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 condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone. Words are the money of fools. 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. In the state of nature profit is the measure of right. Leisure is the Mother of Philosophy. Science is the knowledge of consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another. 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. 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. He that is taken and put into prison or chains is not conquered, though overcome; for he is still an enemy. The Papacy is not other than the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof. No man's error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it. All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called 'Facts'. They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain. Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech. The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame or blame. I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark. Scientia potentia est.
Knowledge is power. 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. I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. 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. 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. Hell is truth seen too late. The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject, but man only. Such truth, as opposeth no man's profit, nor pleasure, is to all men welcome. Sudden glory is the passion which maketh those grimaces called laughter. A man's conscience and his judgment is the same thing; and as the judgment, so also the conscience, may be erroneous. 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. The condition of man . . . is a condition of war of everyone against everyone The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition and mutual envy of the living. Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation. A wise man should so write (though in words understood by all men) that wise men only should be able to commend him. Prudence is but experience, which equal time, equally bestows on all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto. Life is nasty, brutish, and short Fear of things invisible in the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion. Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues. Leisure is the mother of Philosophy They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that dislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion. The first and fundamental law of Nature, which is, to seek peace and follow it. A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life. The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions. Defect in the understanding is ignorance; in reasoning, erroneous opinion. No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Words are the counters of wise men, and the money of fools. For to accuse requires less eloquence, such is man's nature, than to excuse; and condemnation, than absolution, more resembles justice. Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark 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. ... it is one thing to desire, another to be in capacity fit for what we desire. For it can never be that war shall preserve life, and peace destroy it. It's not the pace of life I mind. It's the sudden stop at the end. 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? A man's conscience and his judgment are the same thing, and, as the judgment, so also the conscience may be erroneous What is the heart but a spring, and the nerves but so many strings, and the joints but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body? Covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all. God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I'm so far behind that I'll never die". The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions. 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 Give an inch, he'll take an ell. As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon, even so the spirit is yoked in this body It is many times with a fraudulent Design that men stick their corrupt Doctrine with the Cloves of other mens Wit. Nor can a man any more live, whose Desires are at an end, than he, whose Senses and Imaginations are at a stand.
In the very shadows of doubt a thread of reason (so to speak) begins, by whose guidance we shall escape to the clearest light.
It is in the laws of a commonwealth, as in the laws of gaming: Whatsoever the gamesters all agree on, is injustice to none of them.
Fact be virtuous, or vicious, as Fortune pleaseth
Look not at
the greatness of the evil past, but the greatness of the good to follow.
I often observe the absurdity of dreams, but never dream of the absurdity of my waking thoughts.
He that is to govern a whole Nation, must read in himselfe, not this, or that particular man; but Man-kind; Liberty, to define it, is nothing other than the absence of impediments to motion