thomas hobbes Quotes

Thomas Hobbes Quotes

Birth Date: 1588-04-05 (Tuesday, April 5th, 1588)
Date of Death: 1679-12-04 (Monday, December 4th, 1679)

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Quotes

    • Give an inch, he'll take an ell.
    • To understand this for sense it is not required that a man should be a geometrician or a logician, but that he should be mad.
    • :the passion of laughter is nothing else but a sudden glory arising from sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmities of others, or with our own formerly:
    • :in the state of nature, Profit is the measure of Right.
    • Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
    • The condition of Man...is a condition of Warre of every one against every one.
    • 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.
    • :Understanding being nothing else, but conception caused by Speech.
    • :Science is the knowledge of Consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another:
    • The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only.
    • Sudden glory is the passion which maketh those grimaces called laughter.
    • Hope For Appetite with an opinion of attaining, is called HOPE. Despaire The same, without such opinion, DESPAIRE.
    • Desire, to know why, and how, CURIOSITY; such as is in no living creature but Man; so that Man is distinguished, not only by his Reason; but also by this singular Passion from other Animals; in whom the appetite of food, and other pleasures of Sense, by predominance, take away the care of knowing causes; which is a Lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of Knowledge, exceedeth the short vehemence of any carnal Pleasure.
    • The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, prophane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame, or blame:
    • The 'value' or 'worth' of a man is, as of all other things, his price; that is to say, so much as would be given for the use of his power.
    • By Manners, I mean not here decency of behaviour; as how one man should salute another, or how a man should wash his mouth, or pick his teeth before company, and such other points of the small morals; but those qualities of mankind that concern their living together in peace and unity. To which end we are to consider that the felicity of this life consisteth not in the repose of a mind satisfied. For there is no such finis ultimus [utmost aim] nor summum bonum [greatest good] as is spoken of in the books of the old moral philosophers. Nor can a man any more live whose desires are at an end than he whose senses and imaginations are at a stand.
    • Felicity is a continual progress of the desire from one object to another, the attaining of the former being still but the way to the latter.The cause whereof is that the object of man's desire is not to enjoy once only, and for one instant of time, but to assure forever the way of his future desire. And therefore the voluntary actions and inclinations of all men tend not only to the procuring, but also to the assuring of a contented life, and differ only in the way, which ariseth partly from the diversity of passions in diverse men, and partly from the difference of the knowledge or opinion each one has of the causes which produce the effect desired.
    • In the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. And the cause of this is not always that a man hopes for a more intensive delight than he has already attained to, or that he cannot be content with a moderate power, but because he cannot assure the power and means to live well, which he hath present, without the acquisition of more.
    • Man gives indifferent names to one and the same thing from the difference of their own passions; as they that approve a private opinion call it opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy: and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.
    • And this Feare of things invisible, is the naturall Seed of that, which every one in himself calleth Religion; and in them that worship, or feare that Power otherwise than they do, Superstition.
    • In these four things, opinion of ghosts, ignorance of second causes, devotions towards what men fear, and taking of things casual for prognostics, consisteth the natural seed of religion; which by reason of the different fancies, judgements, and passions of several men, hath grown up into ceremonies so different, that those which are used by one man, are for the most part ridiculous to another.
    • For Prudence, is but Experience; which equal time, equally bestows on all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto.
    • For such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; Yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves: For they see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance.
    • During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.
    • For War, consisteth not in Battell onely, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the Will to contend by Battell is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of Time, is to be considered in the nature of Warre; as it is in the nature of Weather.
    • To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
    • [In a state of war] 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.
    • The RIGHT OF NATURE, which Writers commonly call Jus Naturale, is the Liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own Nature; that is to say, of his own Life; and consequently, of doing any thing, which in his own Judgement, and Reason, he shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto.
    • As first a man cannot lay down the right of resisting them, that assault him by force, to take away his life; because he cannot be understood to aim thereby, at any Good to himself.
    • That a man be willing, when others are so too, as farre-forth, as for Peace, and defence of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself.
    • Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good, and evil, in the conversation, and society of mankind. Good, and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions; which in different tempers, customs, and doctrines of men, are different.
    • Do not that to another, which thou wouldst not have done to thyself.
    • For the Lawes of Nature (as Justice, Equity, Modesty, Mercy, and (in summe) Doing To Others, As Wee Would Be Done To,) if themselves, without the terrour of some Power, to cause them to be observed, are contrary to our naturall Passions, that carry us to Partiality, Pride, Revenge, and the like. And Covenants, without the Sword, are but Words, and of no strength to secure a man at all.
    • As in the presence of the Master, the Servants are equall, and without any honour at all; So are the Subjects, in the presence of the Soveraign. And though they shine some more, some lesse, when they are out of his sight; yet in his presence, they shine no more than the Starres in presence of the Sun.
    • No man's error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.
    • The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions.
    • Another doctrine repugnant to civil society, is that whatsoever a man does against his conscience, is sin; and it dependeth on the presumption of making himself judge of good and evil. For a man's conscience and his judgement are the same thing, and as the judgement, so also the conscience may be erroneous.
    • Corporations may lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man.
    • For a mans Conscience, and his Judgement is the same thing; and as the Judgement, so also the Conscience may be erroneous.
    • Intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness, with mischance; injustice; with violence of enemies; pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; and rebellion, with slaughter.
    • Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
    • And if a man consider the original of this great ecclesiastical dominion, he will easily perceive, that the Papacy, is no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof: for so did the Papacy start up on a sudden out of the ruins of that heathen power.
    • The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition and mutual envy of the living.
    • Such truth as opposeth no man's profit nor pleasure is to all men welcome.
    • thomas hobbes

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