Discovering Thomas Hobbes



9 Questions

What is Thomas Hobbes known for?

Where was Thomas Hobbes born?

What was Thomas Hobbes's father's profession?

Who was Thomas Hobbes's employer and lifelong connection?

What was the name of the book in which Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments?

What accusation was made against Hobbes by several contemporaries?

What was the name of Hobbes's translation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War?

What did Hobbes believe was necessary for a state or society to be secure?

What was the name of the bill introduced by the House of Commons in 1666 that led to Hobbes burning some of his compromising papers?


Thomas Hobbes: English Philosopher (1588-1679)

  • Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher known for his influential formulation of social contract theory in his book Leviathan.

  • Hobbes contributed to a diverse array of fields including history, jurisprudence, geometry, theology, and ethics, as well as philosophy in general.

  • Hobbes was born on April 5, 1588, in Westport, now part of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England.

  • Hobbes's father was the vicar of both Charlton and Westport, and Hobbes was educated at Westport church and then to a private school kept by a young man named Robert Latimer, a graduate of the University of Oxford.

  • Hobbes completed his B.A. degree by incorporation at St John's College, Cambridge, in 1608.

  • Hobbes became a tutor and secretary to William Cavendish, Baron of Hardwick (and later Earl of Devonshire), and began a lifelong connection with that family.

  • Hobbes was exposed to European scientific and critical methods during his grand tour of Europe between 1610 and 1615.

  • Hobbes's scholarly efforts were aimed at a careful study of classic Greek and Latin authors, and in 1628, he published his great translation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War.

  • Hobbes's De Cive was finished in November 1641, and he then returned to hard work on the first two sections of his work, which was published in 1651 as Leviathan.

  • Hobbes acquired a new prominence from the time of the Restoration, and "Hobbism" became a byword for all that respectable society ought to denounce.

  • The House of Commons introduced a bill against atheism and profaneness in 1666, which led to Hobbes burning some of his compromising papers and publishing an appendix to Leviathan in which he aimed to show that there remained no court of heresy at all to which he was amenable.

  • After the bill, Hobbes could never publish anything in England on subjects relating to human conduct, and the 1668 edition of his works was printed in Amsterdam because he could not obtain the censor's license for its publication in England.The Life and Work of Thomas Hobbes

  • Hobbes spent the final years of his life with his patron, William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth House estate.

  • Hobbes died in 1679 at Hardwick Hall, owned by the Cavendish family, after suffering from a bladder disorder and paralytic stroke.

  • Hobbes's political theory is that state or society cannot be secure unless at the disposal of an absolute sovereign, and that no individual can hold rights of property against the sovereign.

  • In Leviathan, Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments, creating an objective science of morality that demonstrates the necessity of a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war.

  • Hobbes was accused of atheism by several contemporaries; Bramhall accused him of teachings that could lead to atheism. This was an important accusation, and Hobbes himself wrote, in his answer to Bramhall's The Catching of Leviathan, that "atheism, impiety, and the like are words of the greatest defamation possible".

  • Hobbes provided a cosmological argument for the existence of God in the Elements of Law, saying that God is "the first cause of all causes".

  • Hobbes's religious views remain controversial as many positions have been attributed to him and range from atheism to Orthodox Christianity.

  • Hobbes's final works were an autobiography in Latin verse in 1672, and a translation of four books of the Odyssey into "rugged" English rhymes that in 1673 led to a complete translation of both Iliad and Odyssey in 1675.

  • Hobbes opposed the existing academic arrangements and assailed the system of the original universities in Leviathan.

  • John Wallis became one of Hobbes's most persistent opponents, and they continued name-calling and bickering for nearly a quarter century.

  • Hobbes was influenced by contemporary scientific ideas and intended for his political theory to be a quasi-geometrical system in which the conclusions followed inevitably from the premises.

  • Hobbes rejected Aristotle's politics, namely that human beings are naturally suited to life in a polis and do not fully realize their natures until they exercise the role of citizen.


How much do you know about Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher known for his social contract theory and contributions to various fields? Test your knowledge with our quiz and learn about his life, works, and ideas. From his early education to his controversial views on religion, politics, and academia, this quiz will challenge and enlighten you. Discover why Hobbes's Leviathan became a classic of political philosophy and why his legacy still resonates today. Don't miss this opportunity to delve into the mind of

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