Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - 'Hell is Truth Seen too Late' (Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679)Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - Hell is Truth seen too late. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 'Hell is Truth Seen too Late' (Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679)
Philosophy - Famous Philosophers - Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Discussion of Philosophy & Metaphysics of Hobbes Leviathan
On the Metaphysics of Space and Motion - Leviathan as Cosmos
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Hell is Truth Seen Too Late

For by Art is created that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth or State which is but an Artificial Man; though of greater stature and strength than the Natural, for whose protection and defense it was intended; and in which, the Sovereignty is an Artificial Soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body ..

For the Schools find in mere Appetite to go, or move, no actually Motion at all: but because some Motion they must acknowledge, they call it Metaphorical Motion; which is but an absurd speech; for though Words may by called metaphorical; Bodies and Motions cannot.
(Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651)


Introduction - Quotations Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - Hobbes Links - Top of Page

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - Hell is Truth seen too late. Introduction to Thomas Hobbes 'Leviathan'

Thomas Hobbes saw Society as a giant machine (perpetually in motion), thus the title of his great work, The Leviathan, which is founded on Mechanics (the Motion of Bodies / Matter). In Leviathan, Hobbes argues that the natural state of man (without any civil government) is war,

... the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. ... The condition of man ... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

According to Hobbes, man in the state of nature seeks nothing but his own selfish pleasure, but such individualism naturally leads to a war in which every man's hand is against his neighbour. In pure self-interest and for self-preservation men entered into a compact by which they agreed to surrender part of their natural freedom to an absolute ruler in order to preserve the rest. The State determines what is just and unjust, right and wrong; and the strong arm of the law provides the ultimate sanction for right conduct. (Catholic Encyclopedia: Obligation, 1911)

Thus Hobbes supports an absolute monarchy, where power resides in the king or queen, as this absolute power to create and enforce laws was necessary for justice and the formation of a moral society.
So Hobbes was close to the truth in two ways;

1. That reality exists as an interconnected 'machine'.

2. That motion was fundamental to reality (it was real, not metaphorical).

His error (as with all science) was to work from a foundation of 'bodies' rather than the space that all bodies exist in. The Wave Structure of Matter and Metaphysics of Space and Motion (see Introduction above) explains Hobbes Leviathan, but from the foundation of matter as the Spherical Wave Motion of Space, rather than the motion of discrete 'particles' within Space (what is the necessary connection between these 'particles'?)

Thus the one supreme authority is absolute truth which comes from true knowledge of physical reality. We must abide by these fundamental laws (of the cosmos as the true leviathan) if Humanity is to be wise (and not destroy both Nature and ourselves).
We hope you enjoy reading on the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) and the quotations from Hobbes' Leviathan. Understanding this dynamic unity of reality (leviathan) is profoundly important to humanity, to each and every one of us 'humans' existing in the universe. As David Bohm wrote;

The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it. (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

Geoff Haselhurst, Karene Howie, Email


Introduction - Quotations Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - Hobbes Links - Top of Page

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - 'Hell is Truth Seen too Late' (Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679) Quotations from Hobbes, The Leviathan

For by Art is created that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth or State (in latine Civitas) which is but an Artificial Man; though of greater stature and strength than the Naturall, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the Soveraignty is an Artifical Soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body .. (Hobbes, Introduction to Leviathan)

The Originall of them all, is that which we call SENSE; (For there is no conception in a mans mind, which hath not at first, totally, or by parts, been begotten upon the organs of Sense. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

All of which qualities called Sensible, are in the object that causeth them, but so many several motions of the matter, by which it presseth our organs diversely. Neither in us that are pressed, are they any thing else, but divers motions; (for motion, produceth nothing but motion.) (Hobbes, Leviathan)

For the Schooles find in meere Appetite to go, or move, no actuall Motion at all: but because some Motion they must acknowledge, they call it Metaphoricall Motion; which is but an absurd speech; for though Words may by called metaphoricall; Bodies and Motions cannot. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

For the laws of Nature (as justice, equity, modesty, mercy, and, in sum, doing to others as we would be done to) of themselves, without the terror of some power, to cause them to be observed, are contrary to our natural passions, that carry us to partiality, pride, revenge and the like. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Leisure is the mother of philosophy. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

...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. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good, and evil, in the conversation, and society of mankind. Good, and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions; which in different tempers, customs, and doctrines of men, are different. (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan)

The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Corporations are may lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness, with mischance; injustice; with violence of enemies; pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; and rebellion, with slaughter. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark. (attributed last words) (Hobbes, Leviathan)

The praise of ancient authors proceeds not from the reverence of the dead, but from the competition, and mutual envy of the living. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Thanks to http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/Hobbes.htm for the following quotes from Thomas Hobbes.

Absolutes:
No Discourse whatsoever, can End in absolute Knowledge of Fact.
(Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan: The Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil, 1651, [Leviathan], i. vii. 30.)

Aristocracy:
Aristotle in his first book of Politiques affirms as a foundation of the whole politically science, that some men by nature are made worthy to command, others only to serve. (Hobbes, Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society, 1651 [Rudiments], iii. 13. 46.)

Conscience:
A man's conscience and his judgment is the same thing, and, as the judgment, so also the conscience may be erroneous. (Hobbes, Leviathan, xxix.)

Curiosity:
Curiosity draws a man from consideration of the effect, to seek the cause. (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, i. xi. 51.)

Democracy:
They that live under the government of Democracy, attribute all the inconvenience to that form of Commonwealth. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xviii. 94.)

In a Democracy, look how many Demagogs [that is] how many powerful Orators there are with the people." (Hobbes, Rudiments, x. 6. 153.)

As water upon a plain Table is drawn which way any one part of it is guided by the finger. (Hobbes, Leviathan, i. iii. 8.)

The government it self, or the administration of its affairs, are better committed to one, then many. (Hobbes, Rudiments, x. 16. 163.)

The most part are too busy in getting food, and the rest too negligent to understand. (Hobbes, Leviathan, i. xv. 79.)

To be seduced by Orators, as a Monarch by Flatterers. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xix. 96.)

Education:
The education of Children [is called] a Culture of their minds. (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xxxi. 189.)

Future:
The Future being but a fiction of the mind, applying the sequels of actions Past, to the actions that are Present. (Hobbes, Leviathan, i. iii. 10.)

Government Spending:
Money is thrown amongst many, to be enjoyed by them that catch it. (Hobbes, Leviathan, i. xiv. 67.)

Justice:-
Condemnation, than absolution more resembles Justice. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xix. 97.)
Sometimes justice cannot be had without money. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xxii. 122.)

Law:-
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.)

Legislative Power:
It belongeth therefore to the Sovereign to præscribe the Rules of discerning Good and Evil and therefore in him is the Legislative Power. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xx. 106.)

Liberty:
A sick or lame man's liberty to go is an impotence, and not a power or a liberty. (Hobbes, Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, 1656 )

It is an easy thing, for men to be deceived, by the specious name of Libertie. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xxi. 110.)

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.)

Ambition, and Covetousnesse are Passions that are perpetually incumbent, and pressing. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xxvii. 155.)

This naturall proclivity of men, to hurt each other. (Hobbes, Rudiments, i. 12. 13.)

When the greatest part of Men are so unreasonable as they are. (Hobbes, Dialogue ... Common Laws, 1670.)

Opinion:
Heresy is a word which, when it is used without passion, signifies a private opinion. So the different sects of the old philosophers, Academians, Peripatetics, Epicureans, Stoics, &c., were called heresies. (Hobbes, Behemoth; the History of the Civil Wars in England, 1679)

Power:
Riches, Knowledge and Honour are but several sorts of Power. (Hobbes, Leviathan, i. viii. 35.)

The aim of Punishment is not a revenge, but terror. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xxviii. 162.)

Why any man should take the law of his country rather than his own Inspiration, for the rule of his action. (Hobbes, Leviathan, ii. xxix. 169.)

Revolution:
The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Wealth:
Riches are gotten with industry, and kept by frugality. (Hobbes, Rudiments, xii. 9. 183.)

Riches joined with liberality, is Power; because it procureth friends, and servants. (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, i. x. 41.)


Excerpt from Pre-History of Cognitive Science - Thomas Hobbes

The Model:
Hobbes' model is based upon an application of the rules of geometry and physics to the human sciences. Hobbes professed, first and foremost, a theory of motion. Following the theories of Galileo (whom he visited in Europe) he believed that, contrary to the opinion of his day, all matter was in motion and would remain in motion unless acted upon by another force.

Based upon this philosophy, Hobbes constructs a model of the human psyche in which all thought is explained by the motion of things in the material world impacting the senses, which creates a subsequent motion in the senses, which creates a subsequent motion in the brain, which continues to exert its pressure on the brain until its motion is degraded sufficiently by the interference of other new motions.
Three fundamental premises underlie this model:
1) that everything is material, including the mind, and the soul (689-693);
2) that we are brought into the world with the mind a tabula rasa (85); and
3) that the senses are responsible for all mental activity (85-87).

Based upon these primary tenets, Hobbes constructs an elaborate model of categories of thought which build one upon the next until one reaches the highest levels of abstract thought. First, there is the Representation or Appearance which is the initial motion carried by the senses to the brain (85). Once a representation enters the brain, it follows a Trayne which is the course of its motion in the brain as it interacts with other representations. Newer representation will, necessarily obscure older representations in the brain; hence, as a representation proceeds along its Trayne, its influence becomes lesser. As Hobbes puts it, the sense 'decays'. The interaction of these Traynes of varying degrees of magnitude, Hobbes terms Imagination, which is, he claims, "nothing more than decaying sense" (88). It is, however, "the first internal beginning of all Voluntary Motion" (118). [Note: Hobbes is very explicit about the fact that Imagination defines the particular state of all the various Traynes that are present in the mind at one time and not the process of decaying, which he terms Memory (89).]

Having defined the imagination, Hobbes goes on to refine his definition by distinguishing between two distinct types: Simple and Compound. Simple imagination describes the presence of a particular Trayne separate from all others, "as when one imagineth a man, or horse, which he has seen before (89), and Compound imagination describes the interaction of separate Traynes,

"as when from the sight of a man at one time, and of a horse at another, we conceive in our mind a Centaure" (89).

Individual Traynes are subject to two types of development within the brain: Regulated and Unguided (95). Unguided thoughts are those

"wherein there is no passionate thought, to govern and direct those that follow, to itself, as the end and scope of some desire, or other passion: In which case the thoughts are said to wander, and seem impertinent one to another, as in a Dream" (95).

Regulated thoughts, to the contrary, are those that are directed by some "desire, and designe" such as fear (95). (Where this fear comes from he neglects to convincingly explain.) At this point in his model, Hobbes makes an important leap to the realm of language. Expanding upon an earlier definition of the progress of the imagination as "mental discourse" (94), Hobbes claims that the function of speech is to transfer our mental discourse to verbal discourse (101). From this definition, Hobbes then constructs of model of Understanding as "nothing else, but conception caused by speech" (109), marking not a separate function of cognition, but rather a particular group of Traynes. -those initiated by the exposure of the senses to speech.

The last area of cognition which Hobbes defines is that of the Reason . According to Hobbes, "When a man Reasoneth, he does nothing else but conceive a summe total, from addition of parcels; or conceive a remainder, from Subtraction of one summe from another: which, if it be done by Words, is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole; or from the names of the whole and one part, to the name of the other part" (110).

Having dealt with what he perceived to be all the categories of cognition, Hobbes goes on to attempt to explain the sources of Appetites or Desires and the Will. His explanation begins with a type of stimulus response which he calls a Voluntary motion (118). The Voluntary Motions are the result of the senses affecting the inner organs of man. They are a type of pre-wired response within the organs to particular stimuli. Different stimuli cause different types of Voluntary Motions, known as Endeavours (119); and when an Endeavour becomes directed at an external object, it becomes a Desire or an Aversion (119). The Will, subsequently, is the last appetite or aversion in which mental motion gets converted into physical motion (127).

Discussion:
Several interesting and important observations and theories arise as Hobbes explains his model of cognition and attempts to extrapolate a theory of politics from it. Of particular interest is the way in which Hobbes deals with the materiality of the human subject. As noted earlier, Hobbes states specifically that all things, including thoughts, are material; however, his model of cognition still predicates a strange type of division between the individual thinking subject and the rest of the material world; for, according to Hobbes we never actually experience the true materiality of the thing we sense.

"The cause of Sense, is the external body, or object, which preseth the organ proper to each sense, ...which pressure, by mediation of the Nerves, and other stings, and membranes of the body, continued inwards to the Brain and Heart, causeth there a resistance, or counter-pressure or endeavour to the heart, to deliver it self: which endeavour because Outward, seemeth to be some matter without. And this seeming, of fancy, is that which men call Sense ...But their appearance to us is Fancy, the same waking that dreaming. And as pressing, rubbing, or striking the Eye, makes us fancy a light ...the object is one thing, the image or fancy is another" (85).

Here we see the seeds of later Skeptical thought which argued similarly that all experience is really perception and that we have no real knowledge of the material world. In Hobbes, this philosophy becomes particularly interesting because insists, in the face of this skepticism, in maintaining that all thought is still material.

It should also be noted that Hobbes both inherits and proliferates many of the standard divisions of mental function from his period - Namely, Fancy, Imagination - including a subsequent two part sub-division, Reason, Understanding and Will - although his use of these terms is quite different than many other mainstream authors. Also of interest to scholars of Cultural Studies and literature in particular is Hobbes' treatment of language. Hobbes devotes an entire chapter to language and its right usage, during which he espouses an interesting model of the function of language in political society (Chapter 4) - one in which metaphorical language is specifically derided.

http://www.rc.umd.edu/cstahmer/cogsci/hobbes.html


Introduction - Quotations Thomas Hobbes Leviathan - Hobbes Links - Top of Page

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 'Hell is Truth Seen too Late' (Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679) Related Links : Hobbes, Political Philosophy

Philosophy: Economics - Controlling the Evolution of Market Economics for the Benefit of both Humanity and Nature (and thus survival). Truth, Reality and Nature (Wave Structure of Matter) as Market Economic Forces. Globalisation as Ecology of Economics.

Philosophy: Education - Plato, Michel de Montaigne, Albert Einstein and Jean Jacques Rousseau on Philosophy of Education, both for the Individual and their Responsibility to Society. On True Knowledge of Reality as Necessary for Education of Critical Thinking.

Philosophy: Politics Globalisation - On the Political Theories of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Machiavelli, Hobbes, etc. On the Evolution of a True Democracy Founded on Truth and Reality. Globalisation as Interconnected Ecology of both Political States and Reality.

Marx, Karl & Engels, Frederick - Motion (of Workers and Capital) as the Philosophical Foundations of Marx and Engels 'Das Capital'.

http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/Hobbes.htm - Hobbes' interest in science, particularly that of Euclidian geometry, led him to conclude that it should be possible 'to extend such deductive certainty to a comprehensive science of man and society.' With this objective in mind, Hobbes set to work and wrote a book which became the greatest, perhaps the sole, masterpiece of political philosophy in the English language, The Leviathan.





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"Hell is Truth Seen Too Late."
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