60+ Best Thomas Hobbes Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Thomas Hobbes, in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 masterpiece Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory. Insightful Thomas Hobbes quotes help you re-evaluate everythings, get a fresh start, find your path, and stand back up.

If you’re searching for most famous philosophical quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of incredible Edmund Burke quotes, inspirational Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes, and powerful Thomas Paine quotes.

Most Famous Thomas Hobbes Quotes

The condition of Man is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

In the state of nature profit is the measure of right.

No man’s error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.

For it can never be that war shall preserve life, and peace destroy it.

All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called ‘Facts’. They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain.

Science is the knowledge of consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another.

The first and fundamental law of Nature, which is, to seek peace and follow it.

Leisure is the Mother of Philosophy.

Such truth, as opposeth no man’s profit, nor pleasure, is to all men welcome.

Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation.

Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech.

The power of a man is his present means to obtain some future apparent good.

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.

The oath adds nothing to the obligation. For a covenant, if lawful, binds in the sight of God, without the oath, as much as with it; if unlawful, bindeth not at all, though it be confirmed with an oath.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

But the most noble and profitable invention of all other was that of speech, consisting of names or apellations, and their connection; whereby men register their thoughts, recall them when they are past, and also declare them one to another for mutual utility and conversation; without which there had been amongst men neither Commonwealth, nor society, nor contract, nor peace, no more than amongst lions, bears, and wolves.

Ambition, and covetousness are passions that are perpetually incumbent and pressing.

It’s not the pace of life I mind. It’s sudden stop at the end.

Such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be wittier, or more eloquent, or more learned, yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves.

Hell is truth seen too late.

The world is governed by opinion.

Words are the money of fools.

They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy: and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.

He that is taken and put into prison or chains is not conquered, though overcome; for he is still an enemy.

Curiosity is the lust of the mind.

Now I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.

Inspirational Thomas Hobbes Quotes

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.

The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame or blame.

He that is to govern a whole nation, must read in himself, not this, or that particular man, but man-kind.

Prudence is but experience, which equal time, equally bestows on all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto.

The disembodied spirit is immortal; there is nothing of it that can grow old or die. But the embodied spirit sees death on the horizon as soon as its day dawns.

Words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon with them, but they are the money of fools.

Sudden glory is the passion which maketh those grimaces called laughter.

The object of man’s desire is not to enjoy once only, and for one instant of time; but to assure forever, the way of his future desires.

Laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminence in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own former self.

Humans are driven by a perpetual and restless desire of power.

It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.

There is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind while we live here, because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense.

That a man be willing, when others are so too, as far north as for peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself.

Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.

The source of every crime is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions. Defect in the understanding is ignorance; in reasoning, erroneous opinion.

Scientia potentia est. Knowledge is power.

Government is necessary, not because man is bad but because man is by nature more individualistic than social.

Where there is no common power, there is no law.

For such is the nature of man, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; Yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves: For they see their own wit at hand, and other mens at a distance.

The flesh endures the storms of the present alone the mind, those of the past and future as well as the present. Gluttony is a lust of mind.

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

All men, among themselves, are by nature equal. The inequality we now discern hath its spring from the civil law.

A man’s conscience and his judgment are the same thing; and as the judgment, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.

The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only.

As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon, even so the spirit is yoked in this body.

If men are naturally in a state of war, why do they always carry arms and why do they have keys to lock their doors?

War consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known.

The right of nature is the liberty each man hath to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature, that is to say, of his own life.

For to accuse requires less eloquence, such is man’s nature, than to excuse; and condemnation, than absolution, more resembles justice.

A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life.

In such condition there is no place for industry… no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death.

Fear and I both were twins.