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Ideas of Thomas Hobbes, by Text

[English, 1588 - 1679, Born in Malmesbury (the 'Sage of Malmesbury'). Exile in Paris for many years. Died at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.]

1640 The Elements of Law
p.65 It is an error that reason should control the passions, which give right guidance on their own
p.68 Hobbes shifted from talk of 'the good' to talk of 'rights'
p.74 Self-preservation is basic, and people judge differently about that, implying ethical relativism
I.10.2 p.89 The attributes of God just show our inability to conceive his nature
I.11.5 p.326 Evidence is conception, which is imagination, which proceeds from the senses
I.2.10 p.181 The qualities of the world are mere appearances; reality is the motions which cause them
I.4.10 p.59 Experience can't prove universal truths
I.7.3 p.62 Good and evil are what please us; goodness and badness the powers causing them
1640 Human Nature
Ch.IX p.11 Lust involves pleasure, and also the sense of power in pleasing others
Ch.IX.13 p.10 Laughter is a sudden glory in realising the infirmity of others, or our own formerly
Ch.VII.1 p.4 Conceptions and apparitions are just motion in some internal substance of the head
Ch.VII.3 p.5 There is no absolute good, for even the goodness of God is goodness to us
Ch.VII.6 p.5 Life has no end (not even happiness), because we have desires, which presuppose a further end
Ch.XII.5 p.16 A man cannot will to will, or will to will to will, so the idea of a voluntary will is absurd
1642 De Mundo (On the World)
12.5 p.679 Only supernatural means could annihilate anything once it had being
1650 Letter to Bramhall
4:302 p.116 A chair is wood, and its shape is the form; it isn't 'compounded' of the matter and form
4:308 p.117 Essence is just an artificial word from logic, giving a way of thinking about substances
1651 Leviathan
p.132 Resolve a complex into simple elements, then reconstruct the complex by using them
p.195 The legal positivism of Hobbes said law is just formal or procedural
1.01 p.86 Appearance and reality can be separated by mirrors and echoes
1.02 p.90 Dreams must be false because they seem absurd, but dreams don't see waking as absurd
1.05 p.113 Freedom is absence of opposition to action; the idea of 'free will' is absurd
1.06 p.119 Desire and love are the same, but in the desire the object is absent, and in love it is present
1.06 p.120 'Good' is just what we desire, and 'Evil' what we hate
1.06 p.124 If fear of unknown powers is legal it is religion, if it is illegal it is superstition
1.06 p.127 The will is just the last appetite before action
1.06 p.128 Reason is usually general, but deliberation is of particulars
1.12 p.171 Causation is only observation of similar events following each other, with nothing visible in between
1.12 p.172 Religion is built on ignorance and misinterpretation of what is unknown or frightening
1.13 p.183 There is not enough difference between people for one to claim more benefit than another
1.13 p.186 In time of war the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short
1.13 p.187 Men's natural desires are no sin, and neither are their actions, until law makes it so
1.14 p.190 If we seek peace and defend ourselves, we must compromise on our rights
1.14 p.192 A contract is a mutual transfer of rights
1.14 p.192 All voluntary acts aim at some good for the doer
1.14 p.195 The person who performs first in a contract is said to 'merit' the return, and is owed it
1.14 p.196 The first performer in a contract is handing himself over to an enemy
1.14 p.196 Suspicion will not destroy a contract, if there is a common power to enforce it
1.14 p.196 In the violent state of nature, the merest suspicion is enough to justify breaking a contract
1.15 p.202 Injustice is the failure to keep a contract, and justice is the constant will to give what is owed
1.15 p.205 No one who admitted to not keeping contracts could ever be accepted as a citizen
1.15 p.206 If there is a good reason for breaking a contract, the same reason should have stopped the making of it
1.15 p.206 Belief in an afterlife is based on poorly founded gossip
1.15 p.210 Punishment should only be for reform or deterrence
1.15 p.215 Someone who keeps all his contracts when others are breaking them is making himself a prey to others
1.15 p.216 Virtues are a means to peaceful, sociable and comfortable living
II.Ch.XI p.56 Liberty and necessity are consistent, as when water freely flows, by necessity
IV.46 p.689 Every part of the universe is body, and non-body is not part of it
Pt 1 p.137 Hobbes wants a contract to found morality, but shared values are needed to make a contract
Pt 1 p.138 Fear of sanctions is the only motive for acceptance of authority that Hobbes can think of
1652 Letters to the Lord Marquis of Newcastle
p.209 Those actions that follow immediately the last appetite are voluntary
p.210 If a man suddenly develops an intention of doing something, the cause is out of his control, not in his will
1654 Of Liberty and Necessity
95 p.65 'Contingent' means that the cause is unperceived, not that there is no cause
1655 De Corpore (Elements, First Section)
1.6.04 p.21 Particulars contain universal things
1.6.06 p.23 Motion is losing one place and acquiring another
1.6.10 p.28 A cause is the complete sum of the features which necessitate the effect
1.6.11 p.31 Words are not for communication, but as marks for remembering what we have learned
1.6.13 p.32 Definitions of things that are caused must express their manner of generation
1.6.13 p.33 Science aims to show causes and generation of things
1.6.14 p.34 Definition is resolution of names into successive genera, and finally the difference
1.6.15 p.35 Definitions are the first step in philosophy
1.6.15 p.36 A defined name should not appear in the definition
1.6.18 p.39 'Petitio principii' is reusing the idea to be defined, in disguised words
2.07.03 p.46 Past times can't exist anywhere, apart from in our memories
2.07.08 p.48 To make a whole, parts needn't be put together, but can be united in the mind
2.07.09 p.49 A part of a part is a part of a whole
2.08.01 p.53 Bodies are independent of thought, and coincide with part of space
2.08.02 p.54 Accidents are just modes of thinking about bodies
2.08.03 p.54 Accidents are not parts of bodies (like blood in a cloth); they have accidents as things have a size.
2.08.03 p.55 Some accidental features are permanent, unless the object perishes
2.08.05 p.56 The only generalities or universals are names or signs
2.08.05 p.57 If a whole body is moved, its parts must move with it
2.08.08 p.58 If you separate the two places of one thing, you will also separate the thing
2.08.08 p.58 If you separated two things in the same place, you would also separate the places
2.08.20 p.66 We can imagine a point swelling and contracting - but not how this could be done
2.08.23 p.67 The feature which picks out or names a thing is usually called its 'essence'
2.08.24 p.68 Prime matter is body considered with mere size and extension, and potential
2.09.01 p.69 Acting on a body is either creating or destroying a property in it
2.09.06 p.73 Change is nothing but movement
2.10.01 p.77 The complete power of an event is just the aggregate of the qualities that produced it
2.10.02 p.77 An effect needs a sufficient and necessary cause
2.11.02 p.81 Two bodies differ when (at some time) you can say something of one you can't say of the other
2.11.07 p.85 If a new ship were made of the discarded planks, would two ships be numerically the same?
2.11.07 p.85 Some individuate the ship by unity of matter, and others by unity of form
2.11.07 p.85 As an infant, Socrates was not the same body, but he was the same human being
2.11.07 p.85 A body is always the same, whether the parts are together or dispersed
2.11.07 p.86 It is the same river if it has the same source, no matter what flows in it
2.12.05 p.89 If we just say one, one, one, one, we don't know where we have got to
3.15.02 p.100 'Force' is the quantity of movement imposed on something
3.15.02 p.116 Sensation is merely internal motion of the sentient being
4.25.07 p.121 Imagination is just weakened sensation
4.25.13 p.134 Apart from pleasure and pain, the only emotions are appetite and aversion
p.178 p.55 A 'conatus' is an initial motion, experience by us as desire or aversion