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Thomas Hobbes

Date de naissance: 5. avril 1588
Date de décès: 4. décembre 1679

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Thomas Hobbes est un philosophe anglais. Son œuvre majeure, le Léviathan, eut une influence considérable sur la philosophie politique moderne, par sa conceptualisation de l'état de nature et du contrat social, conceptualisation qui fonde les bases de la souveraineté. Quoique souvent accusé de conservatisme excessif , ayant inspiré des auteurs comme Maistre et Schmitt, le Léviathan eut aussi une influence considérable sur l'émergence du libéralisme et de la pensée économique libérale du XXe siècle, et sur l'étude des relations internationales et de son courant rationaliste dominant : le réalisme.

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Citations Thomas Hobbes

„So that 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.“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: So that 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. The First Part, Chapter 11, p. 47.

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„Leisure is the mother of Philosophy“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: Leisure is the mother of Philosophy; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and Leisure: Where first were great and flourishing Cities, there was first the study of Philosophy. Context: For as there were Plants of Corn and Wine in small quantity Dispersed in the Fields and Woods, before men knew their vertue, or made use of them for their nourishment, or planted them apart in Fields, and also 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. Leisure is the mother of Philosophy; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and Leisure: Where first were great and flourishing Cities, there was first the study of Philosophy. The Fourth Part, Chapter 46, p. 368.

„Do not that to another, which thou wouldest not have done to thyselfe;“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: And though this may seem to 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, intelligble, even to the meanest capacity; and that is, Do not that to another, which thou wouldest not have done to thyselfe; 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 balance, 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 Laws of Nature that will not appear unto him very reasonable. The First Part, Chapter 15, p. 79.

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„For it is not the bare Words, but the Scope of the writer that giveth true light,“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: For it is not the bare Words, but the Scope of the writer that giveth true light, by which any writing is to bee interpreted; and they that insist upon single Texts, without considering the main Designe, can derive no thing from them clearly; but rather by casting atomes of Scripture, as dust before mens eyes, make everything more obscure than it is; an ordinary artifice of those who seek not the truth, but their own advantage. The Third Part, Chapter 43, p. 331.

„The Interpretation of the Laws of Nature in a Common-wealth, dependeth not on the books of Moral Philosophy.“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: The Interpretation of the Laws of Nature in a Common-wealth, dependeth not on the books of Moral Philosophy. The Authority of writers, without the Authority of the Commonwealth, maketh not their opinions Law, be they never so true. The Second Part, Chapter 26, p. 143.

„And because the condition of Man, (as hath been declared in the precedent Chapter) is a condition of Warre of every one against everyone“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: And because the condition of Man, (as hath been declared in the precedent Chapter) is a condition of Warre of every one against everyone; in which case every one is governed by his own Reason; and there is nothing he can make use of, that may not be a help unto him, in preserving his life against his enemyes; It followeth, that in such a condition, every man has a Right to every thing; even to one anothers body. The First Part, Chapter 14, p. 64.

„The first cause of Absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of Method;“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: The first cause of Absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of Method; in that they begin not their Ratiocination from Definitions; that is, from settled significations of their words: as if they could cast account, without knowing the value of the numerall words, one, two, and three. The First Part, Chapter 5, p. 20 (See also: Algorithms).

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„And Covenants, without the Sword, are but Words, and of no strength to secure a man at all.“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: For the Lawes of Nature (as Justice, Equity, Modesty, Mercy, and (in summe)doing to others, as wee would be done to,) of 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. The Second Part, Chapter 17, p. 85.

„This is the Generation of that LEVIATHAN, or rather (to speake more reverently)of that Mortall God, to which we owe under the Immortal God, our peace and defence.“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: I Authorize and give up my Right of Governing my selfe, to this Man, or to his Assembly of men, on this condition, that thou that give up thy Right to him, and Authorise all his Actionsin like manner. This done, the Multitude so united in one Person, is called a COMMON-WEALTH, in latine CIVITAS. This is the Generation of that LEVIATHAN, or rather (to speake more reverently)of that Mortall God, to which we owe under the Immortal God, our peace and defence. The Second Part, Chapter 17, p. 87 (See also: Ten Commandments).

„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.“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: 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. The First Part, Chapter 11, p. 47.

„It is not easy to fall into any absurdity, unless it be by the length of an account; wherein he may perhaps forget what went before. For all men by nature reason alike, and well, when they have good principles.“

—  Thomas Hobbes
Context: It is not easy to fall into any absurdity, unless it be by the length of an account; wherein he may perhaps forget what went before. For all men by nature reason alike, and well, when they have good principles. For who is so stupid as both to mistake in geometry, and also to persist in it, when another detects his error to him? By this it appears that reason is not, as sense and memory, born with us; nor gotten by experience only, as prudence is; but attained by industry: first in apt imposing of names; and secondly by getting a good and orderly method in proceeding from the elements, which are names, to assertions made by connexion of one of them to another; and so to syllogisms, which are the connexions of one assertion to another, till we come to a knowledge of all the consequences of names appertaining to the subject in hand; and that is it, men call science. And whereas sense and memory are but knowledge of fact, which is a thing past and irrevocable, science is the knowledge of consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another; by which, out of that we can presently do, we know how to do something else when we will, or the like, another time: because when we see how anything comes about, upon what causes, and by what manner; when the like causes come into our power, we see how to make it produce the like effects. Children therefore are not endued with reason at all, till they have attained the use of speech, but are called reasonable creatures for the possibility apparent of having the use of reason in time to come. The First Part, Chapter 5, p. 21 (See also: John Rawls).

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