In the Hobbes developed his political philosophy. He argued from a mechanistic view that life is simply the motions of the organism and that man is by nature a selfishly individualistic animal at constant war with all other men. In a state of nature, men are equal in their self-seeking and live out lives which are "nasty, brutish, and short." Fear of violent death is the principal motive which causes men to create a state by contracting to surrender their natural rights and to submit to the absolute authority of a sovereign. Although the power of the sovereign derived originally from the people—a challenge to the doctrine of the of kings—the sovereign's power is absolute and not subject to the law. Temporal power is also always superior to ecclesiastical power. Though Hobbes favored a monarchy as the most efficient form of sovereignty, his theory could apply equally well to king or parliament. His political philosophy led to investigations by other political theorists, e.g., , , and , who formulated their own radically different theories of the .
El Leviatán: la política de Thomas Hobbes
A Law is the Command of him, or them that have the Sovereign Power. (A Dialogue between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England [Thomas Hobbes, Dialogue ... Common Laws].)
The law of England hath been fined and refined by an infinite number of grave and learned men. (Dialogue ... Common Laws, 1670.)
Reason is the Soul of the Law. (Hobbes, Dialogue ... Common Laws.)
Thomas Hobbes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Man, Nature of ...:
Every man is presumed to seek what is good for himself naturally, and what is just, only for Peaces sake, and accidentally. (Thomas Hobbes, Rudiments, 1651, iii.)
Thomas Hobbes - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Hobbes wrote several versions of his political philosophy, includingThe Elements of Law, Natural and Politic (also under thetitles Human Nature and De Corpore Politico)published in 1650, De Cive (1642) published in English asPhilosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society in1651, the English Leviathan published in 1651, and its Latinrevision in 1668. Others of his works are also important inunderstanding his political philosophy, especially his history of theEnglish Civil War, Behemoth (published 1679), DeCorpore (1655), De Homine (1658), Dialogue Between aPhilosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England (1681),and The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance(1656). All of Hobbes's major writings are collected in TheEnglish Works of Thomas Hobbes, edited by Sir William Molesworth(11 volumes, London 1839–45), and Thomae Hobbes Opera PhilosophicaQuae Latina Scripsit Omnia, also edited by Molesworth (5 volumes;London, 1839–45). Oxford University Press has undertaken a projected26 volume collection of the Clarendon Edition of the Works ofThomas Hobbes. So far 3 volumes are available: De Cive(edited by Howard Warrender), The Correspondence of ThomasHobbes (edited by Noel Malcolm), and Writings on Common Lawand Hereditary Right (edited by Alan Cromartie and QuentinSkinner). Recently Noel Malcolm has published a three volume editionof Leviathan, which places the English text side by side withHobbes's later Latin version of it. Readers new to Hobbes should beginwith Leviathan, being sure to read Parts Three and Four, as well asthe more familiar and often excerpted Parts One and Two. There are manyfine overviews of Hobbes's normative philosophy, some of which arelisted in the following selected bibliography of secondary works.Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), whose current reputation restslargely on his political philosophy, was a thinker with wide-ranginginterests. In philosophy, he defended a range of materialist,nominalist, and empiricist views against Cartesian and Aristotelianalternatives. In physics, his work was influential on Leibniz, and ledhim into disputes with Boyle and the experimentalists of the earlyRoyal Society. In history, he translated Thucydides' History ofthe Peloponnesian War into English, and later wrote his ownhistory of the Long Parliament. In mathematics he was less successful,and is best remembered for his repeated unsuccessful attempts to squarethe circle. But despite that, Hobbes was a serious and prominentparticipant in the intellectual life of his time.