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Thomas Hobbes

( The English philosopher and writer, best known for his treatise on the state - Leviathan.)

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Biography Thomas Hobbes
photo Thomas Hobbes
Born April 5, 1588 in Malmesbury (Gloucestershire) ahead of schedule, after his mother was frightened the news of the approach of the Spanish Armada. Despite this unfortunate set of circumstances (later Hobbes said that "fear and myself - twins'), he spent an unusually long and fruitful life. Glory came to him as the author of philosophical treatises, but the propensity to philosophy manifested itself when he was far from over forty. Hobbes lived in one of the most significant periods of English history. He studied at the school, . which ended the reign of Elizabeth I, . was a graduate of the University, . mentor and an expert in ancient languages in the era of James I, . studied philosophy in the reign of Charles I, . was known and was under suspicion when Cromwell and, . Finally, . came into vogue as a historian, . poet and almost indispensable attribute of British life in the era of the Restoration,
Hobbes was educated by his uncle possessed a considerable fortune and tries to give his nephew a decent education. The child went to school in four years and six years he taught Latin and Greek. In fourteen years, having mastered the language so that he could freely transposed Euripides Latin pentameter, was given in Modlin Hall, one of the colleges of Oxford University, where five years later received a bachelor's degree. In 1608 Hobbes was lucky: he got the position of tutor in the family of William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire. Thus began his life-long relationship with the family of Cavendish.

Funds that it received through its mentoring, enough for it to continue with academic lessons. Hobbes also had the opportunity to get acquainted with influential people, . in his possession was a first-class library, . and inter alia, . accompanying traveling young Cavendish, . he was able to visit France and Italy, . what was the strongest stimulus to mental development,
. In fact, the intellectual biography of Hobbes, the only one worthy of interest aspect of his life, can be divided into periods corresponding to the three trips to Europe.

The first trip in 1610 inspired him to study ancient authors, as in Europe the Aristotelian philosophy, in the tradition of which he was brought up, was considered outdated. Hobbes returned to England, determined to get acquainted with the deeper thinkers of antiquity. In this he strengthened and conversations with the Lord Chancellor Francis Bacon 'during the wonderful walks in Goramberi'. These interviews took place, apparently, between 1621 and 1626, when Bacon had already been dismissed and was engaged in composing treatises, and a variety of research projects. Perhaps Hobbes convey not only Baconian contempt for Aristotle, but also the conviction that knowledge - is power, and purpose of science is to improve the human condition. In his autobiography, written in Latin in 1672, he wrote about the lessons of antiquity as the happiest periods of his life. His conclusion should be regarded as translated Thucydides' History, published partly in order to warn fellow citizens about the dangers of democracy, because at that time, Hobbes, like Thucydides, was on the side of 'imperial' power.

In 1628, during his second trip to Europe, Hobbes passionately carried away by the geometry, the existence of which learned accidentally discovered Euclid on the table in the library of a gentleman. Hobbes's biographer, John Aubrey depict this discovery: 'My God, he cried (sometimes he swore when he was fascinated by something), it is impossible! And he reads the proof, referring to the thesis. Reads thesis. It sends it to the next thesis, which he also read. Et sic deinceps (and so on), and finally he was convinced of the truth of the withdrawal. I fell in love with geometry '. Hobbes is convinced that the geometry provides a method by which his views on the social fabric can be represented in the form of irrefutable evidence. Diseases Society, is on the verge of civil war, will be cured if people look into the justification of reasonable state system, as set out in a clear and coherent thesis, like evidence geometer.

Hobbes's third trip to continental Europe (1634-1636) made another ingredient in his system of natural and social philosophy. In Paris he became a member of the Mersenne circle, which included Descartes, Gassendi AP and other representatives of the new science and philosophy, and in 1636 made the pilgrimage to Italy to Galilee. By 1637 he was ready to develop his own philosophical system, it is believed that Galileo himself suggested Hobbes extend the principles of the new natural philosophy to the sphere of human activity. Grandiose ideas of Hobbes was a synthesis of science of mechanics and geometrical deduction of human behavior from abstract principles of the new science of motion. 'For, seeing that life is merely a movement of members ... what the heart like no spring? What is the nerves, if not the same thread, and joints - if not the same wheels that tell the movement of the whole body as it would like the master? "

. According to Hobbes, his original contribution to philosophy was developed by its optics, as well as the theory of the state
. A brief treatise on the first principles (A Short Tract on First Principles) Hobbes is a criticism of the Aristotelian theory of sensation and an outline of the new mechanics. After returning to England, the thought of Hobbes turned again to politics - a society on the eve of the Civil War seethed. In 1640 he put on his arms, just in time for the famous parliamentary session, the treatise began law, natural and political (The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic), which argued the need for a unified and indivisible sovereign power. This treatise was published later in 1650 in two parts - Human Nature (Human Nature, or the Fundamental Elements of Policie) and the body political (De Corpore Politico, or the Elements of Law, Moral and Politic). When the parliament to demand the resignation of Count Strafforda, Hobbes, fearing that it openly royalist views can become a threat to life, fled to the continent. Characteristically, he later boasted that he had 'was the first of those who fled'. Treatise on Citizenship (De cive) appeared shortly thereafter, in 1642. The second edition was published in 1647, and the English version in 1651 under the title Outline of the philosophy of the State and Society (Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society). This book - the second value in the ideological legacy of Hobbes's Leviathan, after the later. In it he tried to definitively determine the appropriate tasks and boundaries of power, as well as the nature of the relationship between church and state. See. and Absolutism.

The originality of Hobbes was not only the ideas regarding optics and political theory. He wanted to build a comprehensive theory that would begin with simple movements, described by the postulates of geometry, and ends on generalizations about the movement of people in political life, as if approaching and moving away from each other. Hobbes proposed the concept of 'effort' in order to postulate the infinitesimal motion of all kinds - especially those that occur in the medium between man and external bodies, in the sense organs and inside the human body. The phenomena of sensation, imagination and dream - the action of small bodies, obeying the law of inertia, the phenomena of motivation - the reaction to external and internal stimuli (common place of modern psychology). Hobbes's theory is well known that the accumulation of small movements translates to the macro level in the body in the form of two main movements - the attraction and repulsion, are approaching or moving away from other bodies.

Hobbes had planned to write a philosophical trilogy, which would have given the interpretation of the body, human and citizen. Work on this ambitious project is constantly interrupted because of events in the political arena and in private life Hobbes. He began work on a treatise on the body shortly after the publication of the treatise on citizenship, but finished it only after his return to England. Treatise on man (De Homine) appeared in 1658. When the young Prince Charles (the future Charles II) was forced to flee to Paris after the defeat at the Battle of Neyzbi, . Hobbes put their thoughts about physics and began working on his masterpiece - a treatise Leviathan, . or matter, . form and the power of the state of ecclesiastical and civil (Leviathan, . or the Matter, . Forme, . and Power of a Commonwealth, . Ecclesiastical and Civil, . 1651), . which concisely and sharply outlined his views on man and the state (Leviathan - Sea monster, . described in the Book of Job, . 40-41),
. He was invited to the Prince as a mathematics teacher - a position which he had to leave due to serious illness, which nearly brought him to the grave.

Regulation Hobbes in Paris was a very dangerous after the death of Mersenne in 1648, his friend and patron. Hobbes was suspected of atheism and anti-Catholicism. Charles I was executed in 1649, and until 1653, when Cromwell became Lord Protector, have been constant debate about the proper form of government. Leviathan appeared just in time, as cited in the argument and its reluctance to Hobbes to be in too close relationship with Prince Charles allowed him to ask the permission of Cromwell to return. In Leviathan proved, . one hand, . that the sovereign authority to rule on behalf of their subjects, . not by God's assent - exactly the same, . was said in Parliament on the other hand, . Hobbes used the theory of social contract in order, . to prove, . that the logical result of the State, . based on public consent, . be the absolute power of the sovereign,
. Therefore, his teachings could be used to justify any form of government, whatever prevailed at the time.

Leviathan usually considered writing on political topics. However, the author's views concerning the nature of the state, preceded thesis of man as natural being and 'car', and concludes lengthy polemical arguments about what should be the 'true religion'. Almost half of the total volume of Leviathan is devoted to discussion of religious issues.

Political analysis of Hobbes, his concept of 'natural state' and the community based on a mechanistic psychology. Under the phenomena of social behavior, Hobbes believed to be hiding the fundamental reaction of attraction and repulsion, turning into a desire for power and the fear of death. People driven by fear, united in community, abandoning the 'right' of unlimited self-assertion in favor of the sovereign and authorizing him to act on their behalf. If people, . worrying about their safety, . agreed to such a 'social contract', . then the power of the sovereign must be absolute, otherwise, . torn apart by conflicting claims, . they will always be threatened by anarchy, . inherent bezdogovornomu natural state,

In the field of moral philosophy, Hobbes also developed a naturalistic theory as a consequence of his mechanistic conception of man. The rules of civilized behavior (called at the time of Hobbes 'natural law'), he believed, are derived from the rules of prudence, which must be taken by anyone who has the intellect and seeks to survive. Civilization is based on fear and calculating selfishness, rather than our inherent nature of sociality. By 'good' we mean just what we wish, under the 'evil' - something that seek to avoid. Being a fairly consistent thinker, Hobbes believed in determinism, and believed that the act of will is simply the 'latest attraction in the process of reflection, directly adjacent to the action or refrain from action'.

In the theory of law, Hobbes known concept of law as the commandments of the sovereign, which was an important step in clarifying the differences between statutory law (while incipient) and the common law. Hobbes is also well understood the difference between the questions: 'What is law? " and 'whether the law is fair?', which people - and at the old days and today - have tended to confuse. In many respects, Hobbes anticipated the basic provisions of legal theory Dzh.Ostina

. Hobbes saw religion not as a system of truths, . but as a system of laws, a large place in Leviathan is evidence, . that there is every reason - coming from reason and from Scripture - to consider, . that the sovereign is the best interpreter of the will of God,
. Hobbes consistently distinguished between knowledge and faith and believed that we can not know anything about the attributes of God. Words, in which we describe God, are an expression of our love, and not the products of the mind. He was particularly indignant defense of 'true religion' from the double threat of Catholicism and Puritanism, which appealed to the authorities other than the sovereign authority - the authority of the pope or to the voice of conscience. Hobbes did not hesitate applied mehanitsistsky approach to the concepts of Scripture and believed that God must have a body, albeit quite sparse, so you can talk about its existence as a substance.

Many contemporary philosophers emphasize the importance of Hobbes put forward the concept of language, in which the mechanistic theory of the origin of speech has been linked with nominalism in the interpretation of the meaning of common terms. Hobbes criticized the scholastic doctrine of essences, showing that this and similar exercises arise from the incorrect use of different classes of terms. Names can be names of bodies, the names of properties or the names themselves names. If you use the names of one type instead of the names of another type, we arrive at the absurd allegations. For example, the 'universals' - the name to refer to class names, rather than entities, allegedly called by these names, such names are called 'universals' by virtue of its use, and not because they represent a new class of objects. Thus Hobbes anticipated the ideas of many philosophers in the 20. Preaching the ideals of clarity and use the theory of language to criticize the metaphysical doctrines are inhabited world 'unnecessary' entities. Hobbes also insisted that the language is essential to the reasoning, but also that it is the ability to reason (in the sense of making definitions, and draw conclusions using common terms) distinguishes man from animals.

Returning to England in late 1651, Hobbes soon engaged in a dialogue with the bishop Bremhollom on the free will. The result was his work questions about freedom, necessity and chance (The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance, 1656). Then he was involved in the most humiliating of his life in the dispute, because in the twentieth chapter of the treatise On the body, the first part of abmitsioznoy trilogy, published in 1655, Hobbes proposed a method to square a circle. It was noticed by John Wallis (1616-1703), professor of geometry, and Seth Ward, a professor of astronomy. Both of them were Puritans, and were among the founders of the Royal Society in London, in which Hobbes never had the chance to join. Professors were irritated by criticism of Hobbes, the university system and retaliated, pointing to his ignorance of mathematics. Make it was not difficult, because Hobbes start our geometry in forty years, and Descartes already pointed to the amateur nature of his evidence. The scandal lasted for about twenty years and often took the nature of personal attacks from both sides. By this time include the work of Hobbes Six lessons professor of mathematics at Oxford University (Six Lessons to the Professors of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, 1656); D

. Chat, physics, or the nature of air (Dialogus Physicus, sive de Natura Aeris, 1661); Mr. Hobbes in terms of loyalty, trust, reputation and behavior (Mr
. Hobbes Considered in His Loyalty, Religion, Reputation and Manners, 1662) and other works of a polemical nature against Wallis, R. Boyle and other scientists, united around the Royal Society.

However, the energy of Hobbes, remarkable for a man his age (seventy years, he was still playing tennis), did not go away completely on these bad arguments. In 1658 he published the second part of the trilogy - a treatise on man. Then came the unfortunate events that have stopped the flow of his publications. During the Restoration, notwithstanding the fact that Hobbes was submitted to the court, and the king is very appreciated his wit, he was the victim of prejudice and fear that engulfed the society at that time. Seek the reasons for the dissatisfaction of God, was summed up in a terrible epidemic of plague and record fires in London (respectively in 1664-1665 and 1666), and in the parliament debated a bill against atheism and blasphemy. Was a commission whose task was to study on this subject Leviathan. But soon the case was closed, apparently after the intervention of Charles II.

Nevertheless, Hobbes was forbidden to publish works on topical themes, and he engaged in historical research. In 1668 work was completed Behemoth, or the Long Parliament (Behemoth, or the Long Parliament) - the history of the Civil War from the perspective of his philosophy of man and society, work was published after the death of a thinker, not earlier than 1692. Read the beginning of the common law of England Francis Bacon, . which he sent his friend John Aubrey (1626-1697), . Hobbes at the age of 76 years wrote a Dialogue between a philosopher and studying the common law of England (Dialogues between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England), . published posthumously in 1681,

At the age of 84 years old philosopher wrote an autobiography in verse form in Latin, and two years later for the impossibility of a better application of the forces made a translation of the Iliad (1675) and then the Odyssey (1676) Homer. In 1675 he left London, moving to Chatsuort, and in 1679 learned about his own imminent death, emergency. It is said that when he heard about his terminal illness, Hobbes said: 'At last I find a loophole and get out of this world'. He played that allow friends to procure for future use epitaph. Most of all he liked the words: 'Here is the true Philosopher's Stone'. Hobbes died in Hardwick Hall (Derbyshire) December 4, 1679.

On the headstone was the inscription that he was a man fair and well-known for his learning at home and abroad. This is true, and though his views were conducted around the endless noisy debates, no one ever questioned that Hobbes was a whole person and possessed a remarkable intellect and remarkable wit.

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