Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) quotes


  • A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life.
  • A man's conscience and his judgement is the same thing; and as the judgement, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.
  • Curiosity is the lust of the mind.
  • 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.
  • Fear of things invisible in the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion.
  • Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.
  • He that is taken and put into prison or chains is not conquered, though overcome; for he is still an enemy.
  • In the state of nature profit is the measure of right.
  • It is not wisdom but authority that makes a law.
  • 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.
  • No man's error becomes his own law; nor obliges him to persist in it.
  • Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation.
  • 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.
  • The condition of man.. is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • They that approve a private opinion, call it an opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy: and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.
  • Words are the counters of wise men, and the money of fools.

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