Thomas Hobbs


Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury
(5 April 1588 4 December 1679)
was an English philosopher, best known today
for his work on political philosophy.
His 1651 book
Leviathan established social contract theory,
the foundation of most later Western political philosophy.
    Though on rational grounds a champion of absolutism for the sovereign, Hobbes also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.






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