Thomas Hobbes

In the area of philosophy there have been characters of great importance who with their contributions, knowledge and work have managed to provide great contributions to today’s society and who thanks to their ideas have managed to change many aspects have changed the thoughts that prevailed in the world becoming in this way in great legends . This is the case of Thomas Hobbes , a philosopher considered the father of current political philosophy .

Personal information

  • When was born: 04/05/1588
  • Where he was born: Westport, UK
  • When he died: 12/04/1679
  • Where he died: Derbyshire, UK

Who was Thomas Hobbes?

Thomas Hobbes was a great defender of the regime known as political absolutism . His social and materialist philosophical ideas established that rulers were subject to change for divine matters and gave contributions to liberalism , private property and civil law.

  • Thomas Hobbes Biography
  • Thought
  • Main ideas
  • Thomas Hobbes theories
  • Contributions of Thomas Hobbes
  • Importance
  • Plays
  • Thomas Hobbes Quotes

Thomas Hobbes Biography

Thomas Hobbes was born in the county of Wiltshire , England , on April 5, 1588 . He was born under an atmosphere of war, despair, death and destruction before the possibility of war. The data that exist of his childhood are very few and his mother’s name is not known. His father was known as Thomas Hobbes who was a vicar of Westport and Charlton, in other words, he helped the priests with their daily duties.

He had a brother named Edmund Hobbes and a sister, Anna Hobbes . After their father abandoned them, they were left in the hands of one of their uncles, a merchant and comedian named Francis Hobbes . As a child, he was educated in the local church and later entered the Malmesbury school . He also studied in a private school where he showed the first signs of his great intelligence.

At the age of 14 he began his studies at the University of Magdalen Hall . After finishing his university career he was recommended to work as a tutor for William Cavendish , son of the Baron of Hardwick. In 1631 he began studies in philosophy and in 1636, in the field of physics . He made many trips and had the opportunity to interact with René Descartes and Galileo who greatly influenced the development of his philosophical thought . 

Thomas Hobbes returned to England in 1637 where he published one of his main works defending the need for a type of absolute sovereignty. After the publication, he begins to feel uneasy so he decides to go into exile in France .


His thinking was mainly focused on two branches of materialism , the and determinism . For him, the universe was a type of bodily machine where the laws of mechanism had to be followed because thanks to these, it was then possible to explain matter and movements by means of quantitative elements , including those that occurred in space.

His way of thinking indicated that everything that happened in the universe was determined by a chain of different events , in other words, that what happened did not happen by mere chance but was the result of the causes that had caused it. He was also a rationalist and a mathematician. His ideas regarding politics completely clashed with those that existed at the time because they wanted to establish ideological freedom and for Hobbes, these types of ideas could only lead to a type of anarchy and revolution .

Main ideas

Some of the main ideas of Thomas Hobbes were:

  • The theory of absolutism as a form of government but supporting the monarchy because for him, this was the ideal type of government.
  • The reason was the only one with the capacity to unite the universe, nature and culture.
  • The social will had to be legitimized by means of agreements.
  • All human beings were equal and he claimed that intelligence and reason could be reached through experience.
  • The ” state of nature ” of man was at war with each other.
  • For him, the State was an omnipotent organism and was also the only source of law , morality and religion .

Thomas Hobbes theories

Thomas Hobbes’ theory was based on absolute monarchy . For him, the State was born of a social pact and for this reason it was vital to avoid war between men. He did not believe in the goodness of man and for this reason, he considered it very important that the human being was subject to a series of laws and regulations .

He had a theory that pacts were made in order to avoid violence , which was a natural state of man. This was also created due to fear and insecurity , however, he considered that thanks to this pact, society could be more just . In his theories, the sovereign was the one who had all kinds of rights, and by sovereign he meant the State . He also considered that power could not be divided and therefore should be in the hands of a single sovereign.

Contributions of Thomas Hobbes

His contributions are focused on the human being , society and the impact that it can produce in the life of man. His ideas were of utmost importance to the world and he taught that the natural state of man was a state of constant violence with the goal of being able to stay alive and that when he finally did, he could find peace.

He established that the lack of adequate knowledge made man plunge into darkness and that the less knowledge he had, the more illiterate he would be and this would cause him to be filled with ignorance and mediocrity . One of his main contributions was known as the Social Contract , a theory that we see today and that tells us that we are all part of a society that is governed mainly by a series of rules and statutes that are responsible for regulating the way in which that we behave .


Thomas Hobbes was an important man because through his ideas and studies it was possible to improve the political , social , psychological and cultural fields of the countries, mainly due to the ability to study and understand the way in which the human being behaves . His ideas that made man see man as a being capable of evolving and thinking reasonably, also made him see as an individual who could adequately understand humanity and society without the need to enter into conflicts.

It was thanks to him that it was discovered that man acted based on his experience, which was obtained by his experiences and memories, which were stored in memory . It also established that the human being was a primitive man and that he also had rights and needs that included protecting his integrity and defending himself against possible dangers.


The work of Thomas Hobbes was based on mechanistic materialism, stating that everything that exists is physical and that there are no supernatural beings . Among his main works are the following:

  • Leviathan : this is considered his most important work and in it he refers that the universe is a machine because it is material and that it also has extension. He makes a clarification mentioning the existence of spirits within nature which cannot be perceived by man. In it, Hobbes manages to develop his theory related to legitimate governments and the State, trying to find an adequate foundation for morality .
  • Di Cive or On the Citizen : consists of a trilogy that talks about the knowledge that Hobbes had. The second book was De Corpore (On the Body) and the third was called De Homine (On the Man). It was made up of three different parts. In the first of them, known as Libertas, he referred to freedom as a type of natural condition that man had.

The second part referred to the Empire and made reference to the need to build governments that managed to give peace and security to the inhabitants as they lived in constant war. Finally, the part called Religio which is a defense that he made for absolute power on the part of the State and also made reference to the submission that the church should have towards it.

  • Of freedom and necessity : it was a letter in which he implied the concept of freedom that this philosopher had and it dealt with aspects such as freedom, the law and the obligation to follow it, the absolute power of whoever had sovereignty and the political rebellion.

Thomas Hobbes Quotes

Some of his most recognized phrases are cited below:

  • The man is a wolf to man.
  • When humans build on false foundations, the more they build, the greater the ruin.
  • The eloquence is power while the obligation is slavery .
  • The first and fundamental law of all nature is the search for peace .
  • The fear and I were born as twins.
  • democracy is nothing more than an aristocracy made up of speakers, which is sometimes interrupted by the temporary monarchy of a speaker.
  • From equality comes distrust .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *