Famous Hobbes Quotes
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Hobbes is famous for having said the following quotes:

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 Famous Quotes from the Leviathan  - Thomas Hobbes

  • The condition of man...is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 4
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 4
  • The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 5
  • Sudden glory is the passion which maketh those grimaces called laughter.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 6
  • The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame or blame.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 8
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 10
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 11
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 11
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 11
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 11
  • 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. ~ Ch. 12 Of religion
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 13
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 13
  • [In a state of nature] 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 13
    • Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 15
  • Do not that to another, which thou wouldst not have done to thyself.
    • Original form: A Rule, By Which The Laws Of Nature May Easily Be Examined And though this may seem too subtile a deduction of the Lawes of Nature, to be taken notice of by all men; whereof the most part are too busie in getting food, and the rest too negligent to understand; yet to leave all men unexcusable, they have been contracted into one easie sum, intelligible even to the meanest capacity; and that is, "Do not that to another, which thou wouldest not have done to thy selfe;" which sheweth him, that he has no more to do in learning the Lawes of Nature, but, when weighing the actions of other men with his own, they seem too heavy, to put them into the other part of the ballance, and his own into their place, that his own passions, and selfe-love, may adde nothing to the weight; and then there is none of these Lawes of Nature that will not appear unto him very reasonable.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 15
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 17
  • 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.
    • Pt. I, Ch. 18
  • The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions.
    • Pt. II, ch. 27
  • 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.
    • Pt. II, Ch. 29
  • Corporations may lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man.
    • Pt. II, Ch. 29
  • Intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness, with mischance; injustice; with violence of enemies; pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; and rebellion, with slaughter.
    • Pt. II, Ch. 31
  • Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
    • Original: There have been divers true, generall, and profitable Speculations from the beginning; as being the naturall plants of humane Reason: But they were at first but few in number; men lived upon grosse Experience; there was no Method; that is to say, no Sowing, nor Planting of Knowledge by it self, apart from the Weeds, and common Plants of Errour and Conjecture: And the cause of it being the want of leasure from procuring the necessities of life, and defending themselves against their neighbours, it was impossible, till the erecting of great Common-wealths, it should be otherwise. Leasure is the mother of Philosophy; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and Leasure: Where first were great and flourishing Cities, there was first the study of Philosophy.
    • Pt. IV, Ch. 46
  • The Papacy is not other than the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.
    • Pt. IV, Ch. 47
  • The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition and mutual envy of the living.
    • Review and Conclusion
  • Such truth as opposeth no man's profit nor pleasure is to all men welcome.
    • Review and Conclusion

Other Thomas Hobbes Quotes:

  • A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force to take away his life.
  • A man's conscience and his judgment is the same thing; and as the judgment so also the conscience may be erroneous.
  • All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called "Facts". They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain.
  • Appetite with an opinion of attaining is called hope; the same without such opinion despair.
  • As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon even so the spirit is yoked in this body.
  • Desire to know why and how— curiosity which is a lust of the mind that a perseverance of delight in the continued and indefatigable generation of knowledge— exceedeth the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.
  • Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion.
  • Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.
  • In the state of nature profit is the measure of right.
  • Laughter is nothing else but a sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves by comparison with the infirmity of others or with our own formerly.
  • No man's error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.
  • Opinion of ghosts ignorance of second causes devotion to what men fear and talking of things casual for prognostics consisteth the natural seeds of religion.
  • Prudence is but experience which equal time equally bestows on all men in those things they equally apply themselves unto.
  • Science is the knowledge of consequences and dependence of one fact upon another.
  • 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.
  • That a man be willing when others are so too as far forth as for peace and defense 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.
  • The disembodied spirit is immortal; there is nothing of it that can grow old or die. But the embodied spirit sees death on the horizon as soon as its day dawns.
  • The flesh endures the storms of the present alone; the mind those of the past and future as well as the present. Gluttony is a lust of the mind.
  • The right of nature... 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.
  • The science which teacheth arts and handicrafts is merely science for the gaining of a living; but the science which teacheth deliverance from worldly existence is not that the true science?
  • The secret thoughts of a man run over all things holy profane clean obscene grave and light without shame or blame.
  • The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfilment of that hope never entirely removes.
  • Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech.
  • War consisteth not in battle only or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known.
    • Give an inch, he'll take an ell.
      • Liberty and Necessity (no. 111)
    • 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.
      • On the proposition that the volume generated by revolving the region under 1/x from 1 to infinity has finite volume. Quoted in Mathematical Maxims and Minims by N. Rose (1988)
    • Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
      • Last words


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