Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was an English philosopher
who had two central beliefs. First, he was a materialist, and felt that there is nothing more to the human mind than what we see in life. Second, Hobbes was a cynic, who believed that man is essentially a selfish creature who lives in fear of death. Hobbes most famous work was the ''Leviathan'' (1651), in which he argues that man's selfish nature requires a social contract between man and government, so that government can impose law and order. Hobbes felt that an absolute monarchy was inevitable due to man's defective nature. |+|
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was an English philosopher , a . a , of the , a . was to .
| || |
idea of a social contract was picked up by [[John Locke]] for a different philosophy, and then embraced in different form by the American Declaration of Independence. |+|
Hobbes'of social contract was by [[John Locke]], in the of .
Revision as of 11:31, 22 February 2007
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was an English philosopher notable as one of the founders of social contract theory, and a forerunner of British empiricism. As a materialist, his concept of human existence excluded the soul, with the mind being given a purely mechanical explanation. He was widely rumoured during his lifetime to be an atheist.
According to Hobbes's most famous work Leviathan (1651), life for humans prior to the foundation of the social contract was "solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short". Humans had to form collectives in order to protect themselves from each other. This idea was extended by John Locke, who held (most notably in his Second Treatise on Government) that collectivisation was necessary for the promotion of economic growth. Hobbes's love of strong leadership led him to support monarchy, although he took the view that any strong government was better than nothing, and the stronger the better.