Thomas hobbes (1588 – 1679) was an outstanding English philosopher who remarkably influenced the political philosophy of modern times. Author of Leviathan (1651), he explores in his works the ethical levels that govern free market societies.
A theorist of liberalism, Hobbes left a considerable legacy in disciplines as diverse as political science, history, ethics, physics and geometry.
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Phrases of Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher
In his texts, he told us about the importance of the liberal state and the limits of representative democracy.
In today’s article we will do an in-depth review with the best quotes from Thomas Hobbes, Make his philosophical and political thought more accessible.
1. Desire, accompanied by the idea of satisfying, is called hope; stripped of such an idea, despair.
Reflection on life expectancy.
2. Laughter is nothing more than the glory that comes from our superiority.
A small sample of moral and intellectual superiority.
3. The first and fundamental law of nature is to seek peace.
Without this harmony, there is nothing more to build.
4. Eloquence is power, for it resembles prudence.
Speaking well means weighing the tone and content of what will be said.
5. Fear and I were born twins.
With similar characteristics.
6. When men build on false foundations, the more they build, the greater the ruin.
The foundations of large companies, the stronger they are, the better.
7. Man is a wolf to man.
Homo homini lupus, perhaps Thomas Hobbes’ most famous phrase.
8. Life is a perpetual motion which, if it cannot progress in a straight line, unfolds in circular motion.
In continuous dynamic process.
9. This private rule for defining good is not only a vain doctrine, but also pernicious for the public state.
An ethical reflection.
10. Idleness is the mother of philosophy.
Once we have nothing to do, we can think about everything and nothing.
11. The basis of all great and lasting societies has been not in the mutual will that men have for one another, but in mutual fear.
Respect for authority is, historically, the glue with which societies can survive.
12. After this barbarity, what can we say?
An ironic response to one of his compatriots.
13. Ideas stimulate the mind.
Creativity was born from here.
14. Promotes compulsion, and obligation is slavery.
When you receive a favor from someone, beware.
15. When two men desire the same thing which they cannot enjoy together, they become enemies.
This is how competition works.
16. The Messiah was both a much sacrificed goat and a much escaped goat.
About Jesus Christ and his life.
17. War consists not only of battle, but of the will to fight.
What is behind armed conflict?
18. Julius Caesar and other emperors who came after him obtained this same testimony, that is, they were canonized as saints.
From high politics to religious veneration.
19. Few are foolish enough not to prefer to govern themselves before being ruled by others.
Having your own criteria is always preferable.
20. The inequality now introduced by civil law.
In the opinion of several sentences of Thomas Hobbes, the law is the genesis of inequality.
21. Equal justice also corresponds to an egalitarian application of taxes …
The rich cannot pay less, or the social contract is shaken.
22. We do not seek the company out of love for itself, but for the honors or the benefits it can bring.
Society helps us achieve our desires.
23. A democracy is in reality only an aristocracy of speakers, sometimes interrupted by the temporary monarchy of a speaker.
The voice of the people is rarely represented.
24. Notions of justice and anarchy, justice and injustice have no place in war.
These are ethical variables that do not apply to war conflicts.
25. In the nature of man we find three main causes of strife: competition, mistrust and glory.
26. Sometimes a man desires to know the result of an action, then thinks of a similar action and the successive results it has produced, assuming that similar actions will be followed by similar results.
One of those quotes from Thomas Hobbes in which he talks about human motivations.
27. A free man is one who, having the strength and the talent to do something, finds no obstacle to his will.
It focuses directly on the goal.
28. The pagans also had their saturnalia, and we have carnivals.
A form of collective redemption.
29. Those who approve of an opinion call it an opinion; but those who disapprove of it call it heresy.
It all depends on the point of view, according to Hobbes.
30. No longer the one to whom, under the promise of obedience, life and liberty will then be conquered and will become a subject.
For example, with the religious or ideological yoke.
31. The submission of subjects to their sovereign is supposed to last so long and no longer when the latter has the power to protect them.
Only one requirement to be a subject.
32. Impostors do not need to study natural causes much, but are content to use the common ignorance, stupidity and superstition of mankind.
The modus operandi of those who do not come face to face.
33. From equality of capabilities arises equality of hopes in the attainment of our ends.
A moral maxim which is the premise of meritocracy.
34. I am going to undertake my last trip; I’m going to take the plunge into the dark.
35. Christ did not leave his ministers of this world, unless they were also endowed with civil authority, with no authority to command other men.
Authority is difficult to understand.
36. Leisure and rest are the fathers of philosophy.
Another sentence from Hobbes in reference to the importance of leisure in the development of our thinking.
37. Fear of an invisible power, feigned by the mind or imagined from stories accepted by the public, we call it religion; if they were not accepted, superstition.
Relevant reflection on beliefs.
38. How can a man who has not had supernatural revelation be sure that he who declares this law has done so by revelation? And how can he be compelled to obey these laws?
Thought on the genesis of laws.
39. When a man, because of his natural roughness, seeks to retain what, being superfluous to him, is necessary for others, and, because of the stubbornness of his passions, he cannot correct himself, he must be expelled from society for constituting a danger to it.
He deserves a prison sentence, according to Hobbes.
40. When a man reasons, he is only conceiving a total sum, by adding parts, or by conceiving a remainder by subtraction.
About our way of thinking.
41. It follows that absurd and false statements – if they are universal – cannot be understood, even if many think they understand them, when in fact they are limited to repeating words in a low voice or learning by rote. .
Logical reasoning on human understanding.
42. Among the diseases of a state, I will therefore consider, in the first place, those which arise from an imperfect institution and which resemble the diseases of a natural body which proceed from a defective procreation.
In search of metaphors between the health of a state and the physical health.
43. Thus, a person is the same as an actor, both on stage and in ordinary conversation.
We all do what works best for us.
44. The fear of invisible things is the natural germ of what everyone calls themselves religion.
A curious conception of religions.
45. The papacy is nothing more than the ghost of the now dead Roman Empire.
A negative assessment from the Vatican.
46. The power of the Pope, even if it was about Saint Peter, is neither a monarchy, nor anything archaic or critical, but only didactic.
Another sentence on the influence of the Pope.
47. The present only exists in nature; things of the past have their existence only in memory; but the things to come have no existence, for the future is only a fiction which the mind fabricates by attributing to the present actions the consequences which were followed by the past actions.
48. Those men who base their knowledge on the authority of the books, and not on their own meditation, are of an inferior condition than the simple ignorant.
Knowledge without real experience is useless.
49. It is therefore evident that men do not know, but only believe that Scripture is the word of God.
A critique of religious faith.
50. It is the duty of the sovereign to educate the people well; and this is not only his duty, but also his benefit, and the way of insuring himself against the danger which may fall on his physical person, resulting from a rebellion.
Education as a fundamental pillar in the reproduction of state structures.
51. The emergence of property is an effect of the institution of the state.
As such, the State’s mission is to safeguard this right.
52. Good appearance is power, for, being a promise of good, it seeks men in favor of women and strangers.
Thinking about the right image.
53. The canonization of saints is another religion of gentilism.
One of those somewhat ritualistic Christian rituals.
54. The darkest part of Satan’s Kingdom is that which is outside the Churches of God, that is, among those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.
Reflect on faith.
55. The sciences have little power because they are hardly visible and cannot be recognized in any man.
Interesting reflection on the social weight of science.
56. Competition for wealth, honor, leadership or any other power leads to antagonism, hostility and war. Because the way a competitor achieves his desires is to kill, subdue, supplant or reject anyone who competes with him.
Liberalism leads to a series of vices.
57. The truth is that the praise of the ancient writers does not come from respect for the dead, but from the competition and mutual envy that takes place among the living.
It is not possible to congratulate in life, the result of the absurd competition between writers.
58. What gives a taste for justice to human actions is that nobility or bravery of spirit, which is very rarely given, which makes man despise the advantages which he could gain in his life at the same time. following a fraud or the breach of a promise. .
Ethics as the culmination of moral joy.
59. Clergymen prevent young people from using their reason.
They do not let their critical capacity drain.
60. Christian states punish those who rebel against the Christian religion; and all states punish those who try to establish a religion they forbid.
On the doctrinal will of all states.
61. The Greeks have only one and the same word, logos, to signify language and reason.
For some reason, you will be speaking with the same voice.
62. Influential individuals always find it difficult to combine doctrines that establish a power capable of limiting their whims.
They always want more and more.
63. Government officials should be careful not to indirectly endorse what they directly prohibit.
Make the law, make the trap.
64. Men do not find pleasure, but great suffering, in coexisting with others where there is no power capable of frightening everyone.
According to Hobbes, man needs clear rules to live in peace.
65. But it is not the author, but the authority of the Church, who makes a book a canonical text.
Authority emanates from power and not from the author’s unique and mystical vision.
66. Be conciliatory with your adversary while you divide the way with him, lest he hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the bailiff, and be put in prison.
An excellent teaching to not get caught in an absurd way.
67. No man can know infallibly, by natural reason, whether another has had a supernatural revelation of the will of God; you will only have one belief.
Reflection on the mystical life.
68. No injustice can become the rule of judgment upon which subsequent judges are guided.
Case law should be limited to clearly just cases.
69. There is no man who can have a thought or a representation of something that is not subject to the order of the sensory.
Only perception gives us instruments for our imagination.
70. Originally tyrant simply meant monarch.
For some reason, the meaning was mutant.