thomas hobbes


Well-known member
loathe him or love him, he's had an indirect influence on everyone from the 1600s onwards, including Land, though of course he'd like to deny it.

Let us discuss the bloke.


Who loves ya, baby?
He was going after art bollocks back in 1655,

"Another, when men make a name of two names, whose significations are contradictory and inconsistent; as this name, an incorporeal body, or (which is all one) an incorporeal substance, and a great number more. For whensoever any affirmation is false, the two names of which it is composed, put together and made one, signify nothing at all (Hobbes 1655, 4.20–1)."


Who loves ya, baby?
Hobbes’s attitude to Aristotelianism comes across forcefully in a discussion in Behemoth that begins by describing Peter Lombard and John Duns Scotus as writing like “two of the most egregious blockheads in the world” (Hobbes 1668a, 41–2).



Well-known member
i might read that essay later - urbanomic.

i did an essay on hobbes at uni. a not very good one i might add. it's true that the leviathan system he conceived is sort of what we have got now, in principle anyway, representative democracy you could call it. it's the idea that you vote and then essentially give away your right to make decisions, so you mandate someone else to actually make the decision, and then you live by that decision, on the proviso that you can then vote the peson or people out if you don't like what they've done with the power you have given them. he says its the only way, otherwise we are all wolves for one another, there's no law. so it could be one person who makes the decision (ie a king) or lots of people together (ie a parliament).

he was just very scared about the chaos going on so he came up with this idea, although of course loads of others in europe had the same idea. i suppose that's the issue with it, it's a very good idea, but it sort of comes from a pessimistic place? with a fundamentally negative view of human nature, which nevertheless might be the correct view, or at least was the correct view in his opinion, based on what he say in terms of the civil war.

leviathan is very dense and hard to read though, not as good as machiavelli or the greeks.