Early Life and Lifestyle of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes was a political philosopher, scientist, and historian. His masterpiece Leviathan remained a reference point on all political subject matters. Hobbes believed that total liberty invites war, and submission is the best insurance against war. He argued that the society in a state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Hence, Hobbes proposed a social contract where power is vested in a sovereign authority, as the remedy for lasting peace in any human society. If you want a summary of the early life and lifestyle of the enigma called Thomas Hobbes, we recommend that you invest a few minutes of your time to glance at the content of this article. You will surely find Hobbes to be one of the greatest English philosophers of all time.
Early Life
Thomas Hobbes was born on April 5, 1588, in Westport, Wiltshire, England. His father was a priest at a local church in Wiltshire. Hobbes was raised by his uncle after their father abandoned him and his siblings including their mother, following an open and disgraceful dispute with a member of the church. At the age of four, Hobbes started schooling at a local school in Westport where he studied Latin and Greek. He was enrolled in Magdalen College, the University of Oxford, where he took a traditional art degree. At the time, he was more interested in studying map than the Aristotelian philosophy being thought in the school.
Adult Life
The adult life of Thomas Hobbes was eventful. At the age of 20, after graduating from the University, Hobbes joined the wealthy and aristocratic Cavendish family, where he served in different capacities. While working with this family, Hobbes was exposed to practical politics, and the influence formed the foundation of his political philosophizing. As a tutor, political adviser, and translator to the wealthy family for over a decade, Hobbes was privileged to build relationships with high-profile personalities including scientists and philosophers. Hobbes found refuge in these relationships when he had to flee to Paris following the threat to his life after the unauthorized publication of The Elements of Law, Natural, and Politics. During his stay in exile, Hobbes continued to research into scientific subject matters.
Hobbes numerous writings touched on science, politics, and philosophy. He was not trained in mathematics and science, but his interest in optics and motion made him keep conducting independent research in these fields. His first book, De Cive (Concerning the Citizen), was published in 1642. Hobbes also published several other works before finally arriving at the Leviathan. The publication of Leviathan also generated a lot of political tension in Paris, which made Hobbes run for safety by returning to England.
Philosophical Beliefs
According to Hobbes, wars come more naturally to human beings than political order. So, for societies to enjoy peace, individual members must relinquish power to a sovereign authority. This delegation of powers is made possible when the many deliberately submit to a sovereign in return for physical safety and a modicum of well-being. This is a hypothetical social contract between the leader and the led. In metaphysics, Hobbes defended materialism with the view that only material things are real. He challenged the relationship between science and religion, and the natural limitations of political power.
The political and scientific legacies that Hobbes left for the world in the 17th century are still relevant today. Thus, Hobbes’ works continued to remain a strong influence in the world of philosophy. The bottom line is that Thomas Hobbes was one of the central figures of political thought behind the British Empire.
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