Update
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 April 2024

Thomas Hobbes 1588–1679
English philosopher 

  1. Laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly.
    Human Nature (1650) ch. 9, sect. 13
  2. By art is created that great Leviathan, called a commonwealth or state, (in Latin civitas) which is but an artificial man…and in which, the sovereignty is an artificial soul.
    Leviathan (1651); introduction
  3. Words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever, if but a man.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 4
  4. The power of a man, to take it universally, is his present means, to obtain some future apparent good; and is either original or instrumental.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 10
  5. I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 11
  6. During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 13
  7. For as the nature of foul weather, lieth not in a shower or two of rain; but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 13
  8. No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 13
  9. Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 1, ch. 13
  10. Liberties…depend on the silence of the law.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 2, ch. 16
  11. To accuse requires less eloquence (such is man's nature) than to excuse.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 2, ch. 19
  12. A man's conscience and his judgement is the same thing; and as the judgement, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 2, ch. 29
  13. The papacy is not other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.
    Leviathan (1651) pt. 4, ch. 47
  14. There is nothing so pernicious as reading. It destroys all originality of sentiment.
    Ebenezer Rhodes Peak Scenery (1824) ‘Hobbes’, quoting a letter from St Evremond at Chatsworth to Waller
  15. I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
    last words; attributed (see Vanbrugh), but with no authoritative source