Thomas Hobbes (3331 words)

  • Laurie Bagby (Kansas State University)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error

Thomas Hobbes was a 17th Century English political philosopher who pioneered the modern social contract theory of government. Hobbes’s most famous work, Leviathan, describes man’s dire condition in the “state of nature” and argues that fear of violent death would compel human beings to contract with each other to form a sovereign government. Such a government would then have absolute power in order to prevent conflict. Hobbes advocated monarchy as the best solution to the civil conflict he so feared. However, his political philosophy formed the foundation for future social contract theory which developed in a more liberal direction.

Thomas Hobbes was born April 5, 1588 in Westport, near Malmesbury,…

We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.

Bagby, Laurie. "Thomas Hobbes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 July 2008
[, accessed 24 January 2018.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.