Ben Jonson
(Geographical area)

See also

Thomas Hobbes

Knowledge Identifier: +Thomas_Hobbes


Thomas Hobbes

English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophyadd

Category: Philosophy

Born in 1588.

Countries: United Kingdom (44%), Jersey (17%), Greece (11%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: England, Charles II of England, Ben Jonson

Linked to: Hertford College, Oxford, Malmesbury school, Brill Publishers, Sage Publications




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Thomas Hobbes was born at Westport, now part of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England, on 5 April 1588. add something


Hobbes was a good pupil, and around 1603 he went up to Magdalen Hall, which is most closely related to Hertford College, Oxford. add something


Hobbes became a companion to the younger William and they both took part in a grand tour in 1610. add something


It has been argued that three of the discourses in the 1620 publication known as Horea Subsecivae: Observations and Discourses, represent the work of Hobbes from this period. add something


His scholarly efforts at the time were aimed at a careful study of classic Greek and Latin authors, the outcome of which was, in 1628, his great translation of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, the first translation of that work into English from a Greek manuscript. add something


His employer Cavendish, the Earl of Devonshire, died of the plague in June 1628. add something


Although he associated with literary figures like Ben Jonson and thinkers such as Francis Bacon, he did not extend his efforts into philosophy until after 1629. add something


From 1637 he considered himself a philosopher and scholar. add something


Hobbes came home, in 1637, to a country riven with discontent which disrupted him from the orderly execution of his philosophic plan. add something


However, by the end of the Short Parliament in 1640, he had written a short treatise called The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic. add something


Other writings were not made public until after his death, including Behemoth: the History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England and of the Counsels and Artifices by which they were carried on from the year 1640 to the year 1662. add something


This was perhaps a reflection either of Hobbes's thoughts concerning the engagement controversy or of his reaction to treatises published by Patriarchalists, such as Sir Robert Filmer, between 1640 and 1651. add something


In Paris he rejoined the coterie about Mersenne, and wrote a critique of the Meditations on First Philosophy of Descartes, which was printed as third among the sets of "Objections" appended, with "Replies" from Descartes in 1641. add something


Hobbes extended his own works somewhat, working on the third section, De Cive, which was finished in November 1641. add something


The English Civil_War broke out in 1642, and when the Royalist cause began to decline in the middle of 1644 there was an exodus of the king's supporters to Europe. add something


He returned to hard work on the first two sections of his work and published little except for a short treatise on optics included in the collection of scientific tracts published by Mersenne as Cogitata physico-mathematica in 1644. add something


In 1647 Hobbes was overtaken by a serious illness which disabled him for six months. add something


In 1647, Hobbes was engaged as mathematical instructor to the young Charles, Prince of Wales, who had come over from Jersey around July. add something


In 1650, a pirated edition of The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic was published. add something


On recovering from this near fatal disorder, he resumed his literary task, and carried it steadily forward to completion by 1650. add something


Hobbes fled back home, arriving in London in the winter of 1651. add something


Meanwhile, the printing of the greater work was proceeding, and finally it appeared about the middle of 1651, under the title of Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common Wealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil, with a famous title-page engraving in which, from behind hills overlooking a landscape, there towered the body of a crowned giant, made up of tiny figures of human beings and bearing sword and crozier in the two hands. add something


Also in 1654, a small treatise, Of Liberty and Necessity, was published by Bishop John Bramhall, addressed at Hobbes. add something


He worked so steadily that De Corpore was first printed in 1654. add something


Beyond the spat with Bramhall, Hobbes was caught in a series of conflicts from the time of publishing his De Corpore in 1655. add something


In 1656 Hobbes was ready with The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, in which he replied "with astonishing force" to the bishop. add something


Hobbes published, in 1658, the final section of his philosophical system, completing the scheme he had planned more than twenty years before. add something


The bishop returned to the charge in 1658 with Castigations of Mr Hobbes's Animadversions, and included a bulky appendix entitled The Catching of Leviathan the Great Whale. add something


Philosophical problems, dedicated to the King in 1662. add something


The king was important in protecting Hobbes when, in 1666, the House of Commons introduced a bill against atheism and profaneness. add something


That same year, on 17 October 1666, it was ordered that the committee to which the bill was referred "should be empowered to receive information touching such books as tend to atheism, blasphemy and profaneness. add something


The results of his investigation were first announced in three short Dialogues added as an Appendix to his Latin translation of Leviathan, published at Amsterdam in 1668. add something


His final works were a curious mixture: 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. add something


Thomas Hobbes died in 1679 add something


In October 1679, Hobbes suffered a bladder disorder, which was followed by a paralytic stroke from which he died on 4 December 1679. add something


Hobbes was educated at Westport church from the age of four, passed to the Malmesbury school and to a private school kept by a young man named Robert Latimer, a graduate of the University of Oxford. add something


John Locke - While it was once thought that Locke wrote the Treatises to defend the Glorious Revolution of 1688, recent scholarship has shown that the work was composed well before this date, however, and it is now viewed as a more general argument against Absolute monarchy (particularly as espoused by Robert Filmer and Thomas_Hobbes) and for individual consent as the basis of political legitimacy.


"Thomas Hobbes, a Bibliography", London: The Bibliographical Society, 1952 add something


Critical Edition by Elaine C. Stroud, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983 add something


A new edition has been edited by John T. Harwood: "The Rhetorics of Thomas Hobbes and Bernard Lamy", Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1986 add something