The English Philosopher Thomas Hobbes

Topics: Thomas Hobbes, Political philosophy, Sovereignty Pages: 2 (699 words) Published: April 17, 2013
The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is best known for his political thought. Thomas Hobbes was a thinker during the Enlightenment Period in Europe. He set out his ideas in his work titles "Leviathan". In it he argued that people are naturally cruel, greedy and selfish. If they were not strictly controlled they would fight, rob, and oppress on another. In other words, there is need for order and control. He explains that people enter into a "social contract", an agreement which they gave up the state of nature for an organized society. Hence, it is necessary for an absolute monarchy, which would impose order and impel obedience. Thomas Hobbes argued for absolute monarchy, thus, he had very few friends, and no one really liked him that well. His main concern is the problem of social and political order: how human beings can live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. Along with his important works, he had some interesting theories, with ‘The Mind as a Machine’, “Force and Fraud”, and ‘Chaos worse than tyranny’ as three of his most important ones.

Hobbes believed that everything in the universe can be explained in terms of the motions and interactions of material bodies. He did not believe in the soul or in the mind as separate from the body, or in any other entities in which other writers have believed. Instead, he saw human beings as machines, with even their thoughts and emotions operating according to physical laws and chains of cause and effect, action and reaction. As machines, human beings pursue their own self-interest relentlessly, mechanically avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. He argued that our daily routine, obeying certain rules make us mechanical, very much like a machine except for the flesh and blood.

"Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.” If you start from the back end of his quote, where he is giving an...
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