Interesting Facts about Thomas Hobbes

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• Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes, founding father of modern philosophy, was born on April 5, 1588, the year when Spaniards made their poor attempt in conquering England, at the boundary between Westport and Malmesbury in Wiltshire, United Kingdom. Thomas was a son of parish priest and grew with little wealth in his family.

• Education
Thomas Hobbes luckily had his chance to study and graduate at Oxford University, in England. His uncle, an alderman and tradesman in Malmesbury, provided him with his expenses. Thomas, born with intellectual skills and with the excellent teaching of a classicist, Robert Latimer, had excelled in the study of classics in Latin and Greek.

• Private Tutor
Born with intelligence, Thomas Hobbes earned himself as a private tutor of the eldest son of Lord Cavendish, later known as Earl of Devonshire. Thomas and his pupil travelled in 1610 in different countries including France, Germany, and Italy. Thomas, after the death of Lord Cavendish’s oldest son, found another pupil and travelled again out of the country for two years. When Thomas returned from his two-year journey, he began to teach the younger son of Lord Cavendish. Thomas was also able to teach mathematics to Charles, Prince of Wales (later known as King Charles II) in Paris.

• Philosophical Influence

As a private tutor, Thomas Hobbes has been influenced by the presence of different families he was able to have contact with, especially while he was teaching the sons of the Earl of Devonshire and the son of King Charles I.

• Three Treatises
Thomas Hobbes already had its plans by 1640 about his future philosophical works. He expected to have three phases of formal written works also known as Elements of Philosophy trilogy, beginning with matter (body), next to views of human nature, and then to society. However, he began on the third phase (society) with his work De Cive.

• De Cive (The Citizen)
De Cive is the first published book of political philosophy written by Thomas Hobbes. He also published an English version of this book named Philosophical Rudiments concerning Government and Society. This work earned many controversies and was criticized by both North and South men in Civil War.

• Himself and Fear
Thomas Hobbes once stated in his lyric biography that his mother gave birth to twins, himself and fear. As a matter of fact, fear has been a partner of Hobbes for his life, trying to save his life from those who opposed his works.

• Leviathan
Leviathan is the most influential work of Thomas Hobbes and is also considered one of the greatest works of political thought in English language. The Leviathan was written during the Civil Wars (1642-1651) and was published in 1651. Thomas stated in Leviathan that humans are physically and mentally equal, causing competitiveness and conflicts among humans. Leviathan holds many more different philosophies about human nature.

• Three Reasons
In his work Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes cited three main reasons why people fight each other. First is because of the competition of material good, next was having weak trust to someone, and lastly because of the glory experienced in having a powerful position in the society.

• His Last Years

Thomas Hobbes died at Hardwick on December 4, 1679 where his last words are “I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.” He finished the translation of Iliad and Odyssey in Latin and also his Elements of Philosophy trilogy with the publication of De Cive in 1642, De Corpore in 1655, and De Homine in 1658 before his death in 1679.

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