A democracy is no more than an aristocracy of orators. The people are so readily moved by demagogues that control must be exercised by the government over speech and press.

— Thomas Hobbes

The most unusual Thomas Hobbes quotes that are free to learn and impress others

Government is necessary, not because man is naturally bad.

.. but because man is by nature more individualistic than social.


Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.


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

Thomas Hobbes quote Leisure is the mother of philosophy.

Leisure is the mother of philosophy.


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.


How could a state be governed, or protected in its foreign relations if every individual remained free to obey or not to obey the law according to his private opinion.


It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law


Curiosity is the lust of the mind.


The original of all great and lasting societies consisted not in the mutual good will men had toward each other, but in the mutual fear they had of each other.


To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent;

that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.


Religions are like pills, which must be swallowed whole without chewing.


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


But all this language gotten, and augmented by Adam and his posterity, was again lost at the tower of Babel , when by the hand of God, every man was stricken for his rebellion, with an oblivion of his former language.


About Thomas Hobbes

Quotes 243 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Silence is sometimes an argument of Consent.


Such is the nature of men, 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.


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


Prudence is a presumption of the future, contracted from the experience of time past.


For it is not the shape, but their use, that makes them angels.


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


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


They that are discontented under monarchy, call it tyranny;

and they that are displeased with aristocracy, call it oligarchy: so also, they which find themselves grieved under a democracy, call it anarchy, which signifies the want of government; and yet I think no man believes, that want of government, is any new kind of government.


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


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.


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


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 end of knowledge is power ... the scope of all speculation is the performing of some action or thing to be done.


Life is nasty, brutish, and short


Because silver and gold have their value from the matter itself, they have first this privilege, that the value of them cannot be altered by the power of one, nor of a few commonwealths, as being a common measure of the commodities of all places. But base money may easily be enhanced or abased.


Appetite, with an opinion of attaining, is called hope; the same, without such opinion, despair.


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 the mind.


If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies.


Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.


A covenant not to defend myself from force by force is always void.

For ... no man can transfer or lay down his Right to save himself. For the right men have by Nature to protect themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no Covenant be relinquished. ... [The right] to defend ourselves [is the] summe of the Right of Nature.


The "value" or "worth" of a man is, as of all other things, his price;

that is to say, so much as would be given for the use of his power.


Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech.


Obligation is thraldom, and thraldom is hateful.


Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues.


Subjects have no greater liberty in a popular than in a monarchial state.

That which deceives them is the equal participation of command.


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


Every man may think his own cause just till it be heard and judged.


Time, and Industry, produce everyday new knowledge.


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


Felicity is a continual progress of the desire from one object to another, the attaining of the former being still but the way to the latter.


Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good, and evil, in the conversation, and society of mankind. Good, and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions; which in different tempers, customs, and doctrines of men, are different.


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.


No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.


Desire of praise disposeth to laudable actions.


Ignorance of the law is no good excuse, where every man is bound to take notice of the laws to which he is subject.


The Present only has a being in Nature;

things Past have a being in the Memory only, but things to come have no being at all; the Future but a fiction of the mind.


For all laws are general judgements, or sentences of the legislator;

as also every particular judgement is a law to him whose case is judged.