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Thomas Hobbes Case

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Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes, philosopher, historian, and scientist, was born on April 5, 1588 in Malmesbury, England (Encyclopedia Britannica). Hobbes was named after his father, Thomas Hobbes, who was a clergyman with an unfavorable reputation after taking part in a brawl at the church he served. After Hobbes’ father had been “disgraced” Hobbes was sent to live with his father’s uncle, a well off glover. At around age fifteen Hobbes left his hometown to begin his studies at Magdalen Hall, University of Oxford where he studied to obtain a “traditional art degree” (Encyclopedia Britannica). Hobbes graduated from Oxford early in the year of 1608 at age twenty (Stewart).

Post graduation Hobbes began to work for the Cavendish family as a tutor for their son, William Cavendish. The Cavendish family was a very “wealthy and aristocratic” family, so Hobbes was able to reap some benefits of his labor (Encyclopedia Britannica).Working for the Cavendish family is what enabled Hobbes to begin thinking philosophically and writing these thoughts down. This was due to the family’s resources, like books and social connections. Through the Cavendishes, Hobbes was able to meet philosophers and scientists which helped his mind evolve (Stewart). Hobbes would assist the Cavendish family for nearly seventy years working as a translator, traveling companion, business representative, political advisor, etc. (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Around 1620 Hobbes began work as a secretary to Francis Bacon, the accomplished, English scientist, juror, author, and philosopher. In 1629 Hobbes translated and published Thucydide’s History of the Peloponnesian War into the English language (Evrigenis). Shortly after his translation of the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thomas Hobbes traveled the European continent. During this trip met many prominent societal members, including Galileo Galilei, and Renee Descartes, and Marin Mersenne (Stewart).

Hobbes first successful philosophical writings were published in the 1640s. These works were Elements of Law and De Cive. Elements of Law delved into how the human mind and language corresponded with political matters. De Cive, Hobbes first published book, was released in 1642. De Cive was actually part of a larger work called the Elements of Philosophy which included three parts: De Corpore, De Homine, and of course De Cive. De Corpore discussed logic, language, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, method, and their associated matters. De Homine focused on physiology and optics. Finally, De Cive was a book about political philosophy (Stewart).

Around 1641 Thomas Hobbes left England for Paris for about ten years for causes related to England’s civil wars. Many believe Hobbes left England for fear of being punished for his views on political philosophy, which dissented from popular views. Hobbes political views were partly affected by his experience working


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