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Thomas Hobbes – Biography – Free PDF Download


  • Thomas Hobbes was born on 5 April 1588 in Westport, now part of Malmesbury in England.Although Hobbes’ childhood is almost completely unknown.
  • Hobbes Jr. was educated at Westport church from age 4, passed to the Malmesbury school, and then to a private school.
  • Leaving Oxford, Hobbes completed his B.A. degree by incorporation at St John’s College, University of Cambridge in 1608.
  • Hobbes took part in a grand tour of Europe between 1610 and 1615. Hobbes was exposed to European scientific and critical methods during the tour.


  • Hobbes soon found work as a tutor mostly spent in Paris until 1631. Over the next seven years, as well as tutoring, he expanded his own knowledge of philosophy, awakening in him curiosity over key philosophic debates. Hobbes’s first area of study was an interest in the physical doctrine of motion and physical momentum.
  • Hobbes came home, in 1637, to a country riven with discontent, which disrupted him from the orderly execution of his philosophic plan.
  • However, by the end of the Short Parliament in 1640, he had written a short treatise called The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic. It was not published and only circulated as a manuscript among his acquaintances.
  • When in November 1640 the Long Parliament succeeded the Short, Hobbes felt that he was in disfavour due to the circulation of his treatise and fled to Paris. He did not return for 11 years.


  • In Paris, he  wrote a critique of the Meditations on First Philosophy of Descartes.He built a good reputation in philosophic circles.
  • The English Civil War began in 1642,and when the royalist cause began to decline in mid-1644.
  • In 1647, Hobbes took up a position as mathematical instructor to the young Charles, Prince of Wales, who had come to Paris from Jersey around July.
  • The company of the exiled royalists led Hobbes to produce Leviathan, which set forth his theory of civil government in relation to the political crisis resulting from the war.
  • Finally appeared in mid-1651, titled Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common Wealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil.


  • In 1658, Hobbes published the final section of his philosophical system, completing the scheme he had planned more than 20 years before.
  • The king was important in protecting Hobbes when, in 1666, the House of Commons  introduced a bill against atheism and profaneness.
  • His final works were an autobiography in Latin verse in 1672, and a translation of four books of the Odyssey into “rugged” English rhymes that in 1673 led to a complete translation of both Iliad and Odyssey in 1675.
  • In October 1679 Hobbes suffered a bladder disorder, and then a paralytic stroke, from which he died on 4 December 1679, aged 91.


  • Thomas Hobbes considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy.
  •  Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, in which he expounds an influential formulation of social contract theory.
  •  In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, and ethics, as well as philosophy in general.

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