Read a brief biography of the English philosopher, or check out a list of quotes about the nature of man and civilization.
Hobbes was born in London in 1588. He received his college education at
Oxford University in England, where he studied classics. Hobbes traveled
to other European countries several times to meet with scientists and to
study different forms of government. During his time outside of England,
Hobbes became interested in why people allowed themselves to be ruled and
what would be the best form of government for England. In 1651, Hobbes
wrote his most famous work, entitled Leviathan. In it, he argued that
people were naturally wicked and could not be trusted to govern.
Therefore, Hobbes believed that an absolute monarchy - a government that
gave all power to a king or queen - was best.
English philosopher, mathematician, and linguist. Hobbes was born of an
impoverished clerical family in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. At school he
quickly excelled, making a reputation as a linguist and fluent poet and
translator. After Oxford he entered the the employment of William
Cavendish, and except for a short interval remained secretary, tutor, and
general advisor to the family for the rest of his career. His employment
included several "Grand Tours" during which he met the leading
European intellectuals of his time. As a spokesman for the royalist
Devonshires, Hobbes was caught up in the turmoil preceding the Civil War,
and fled to France in 1640, remaining there until 1651. Because of his
writings, especially Leviathan, Hobbes lived in serious
danger of prosecution after the restoration of Charles II. Hobbes's
principal interests in his later years were translations, and he lived out
his old age at the Devonshire's home.