Thomas Hobbes, 1588 - 1679

“The only way to erect such a common power as may be able to defend them from the invasion of foreigners and the injuries of one another, and thereby to secure them in such sort as that by their own industry, and by the fruits of the earth, they may nourish themselves and live contentedly, is to confer all their power and strength upon one man.”

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, XVII

Biography

Thomas Hobbes was born near Malmesbury, England, in 1588, the year that the Spanish Armada approached nearest to the English coast. He claimed that the threatened attack prompted his birth—“mother dear/ Did bring forth twins at once, both me and fear”—and moreover filled him with a lifelong hatred for England’s enemies and a corresponding love… [Read More]

Introduction

Thomas Hobbes presents himself as the first true political philosopher, the first to offer exact knowledge of justice, sovereignty, and citizenship. [Read More]

Featured Video

Steven Smith introduces Thomas Hobbes and his famous “Mortal God”–The Leviathan.