Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes nsIn existographies, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) (IQ:185|#76) (Cattell 1000:63) [RGM:127|1,500+] (Murray 4000:16|WP) (Gottlieb 1000:151) (Becker 139:5) (Stokes 100:31) (Perry 80:9) (HD:5) (FA:58) (GA:30) [RMS:18] (GPhE:14) [CR:173] was an English mechanical philosopher, social physicist, political theorist, and psychologist (Romanes, 1895), noted, in hmolscience, for his 1651 book Leviathan, one of the founding books in human physics, in which he is said to have drawn analogies between the laws of mechanics and the features of society. [1]

Air | Bacon | Cold theory
In 1661, Hobbes, in his “Physics Dialogue on Nature of Air: Facts Taken from Experiments Recently Made in Gresham College, London”, outlined a discourse on his personalized mechanical philosophy model of air, likely touching on his “wind theory of cold”, all meant as an attack on the vacuum experiments of Robert Boyle. [19]

Here, Hobbes attacked Boyle and others who founded the society for experimental research, soon known as the Royal Society. [18]

In c.1662, Robert Boyle responded with Examen of Mr. Hobbes his Dialogus. [20]

In c.1674, Boyle, in his Dissertation on Vacuum Against Mr Hobbes, wherein he took up the same argument. [20]

Hobbes, is his Dialogus Physicus and De Corpore, mounted a strong critique of vacuum and temperature work of Irish scientist Robert Boyle. Hobbes, in opposition to Boyle, posited a “wind-as-a-source-of-cold theory”, which argued that the source of all cold was wind; for example:

“Cold rakes the superficies of the earth, and that which a motion so much the stronger, by how much the parallel circles towards the poles grow less and less. From whence must arise a wind, which will force together the uppermost parts of the water, and withal raise them a little, weakening their endeavor towards the center of the earth.”

Hobbes, in other words, believed that cold winds made the exterior parts of bodies coagulate and go inward, thus transmitting the cold. [3]

In a notable anecdote, to counter Hobbes’ cold theory, Robert Boyle put live animals in a vacuum, extracted the air (meaning that no wind could exist), and then froze the animals in the absence of wind. One will here this story to the effect that Boyle performed experiments with live animals in a vacuum, which in itself makes little sense, until learns that Boyle did this to disprove Hobbes.

Materialism
Hobbes philosophy was materialistic; the gist of which, as summarized by Jennifer Popiel (2004), is as follows: [1]

“Hobbes’ philosophy was materialistic, that is, he subscribed to the metaphysical view that only things that exist, or can be known to exist, are physical bodies. Hobbes’ materialism was the source of the charges of atheism, because materialistic philosophy explained the universe only by reference to matter, but not god’s existence or that of souls. In his materialism, Hobbes argued that all change in the universe came about from one material object striking another. For this reason, freedom lay not in ‘choice’ but in the ability to move without impediment. Human beings and their choices were no more or less mechanical than other material objects.”

Hobbes, as a so-called mechanistic materialism philosopher of the new sciences, wanted to explain, in mechanistic terms, how individuals were driven by their desires and not by ‘higher’ spiritual or moral ends. [1]

Hobbes, early on, stated that his overarching intention was to produce a single, coherent, all-inclusive system of philosophy, to be called The Elements of Philosophy, grounded on the principles of natural science, progressing systematically through the science of human nature to its culmination in a science of the principles of civil association, published in three parts: The Body (De Corpore) (1655), The Human (De Homine) (1650), and The Civil (De Cive) (1642), albeit published in reverse order owing to ongoing civil wars in his own country. (Ѻ)

Influenced
The ideas in Hobbes’ Leviathan were influential to: John Locke, whose Two Treatises of Government (1690) derived much of its force from Hobbes’ concepts of natural law, natural rights, and social contract (as opposed to divine appointment); Charles Montesquieu, and his Spirit of the Laws (1748), which underpins the US constitution, and Rousseau, who modeled his “general will” idea from Hobbes conception of the formation of the state. [1]

Associations
Hobbes was associate of: Francis Bacon, Pierre Gassendi, and Rene Descartes.

Moses
Hobbes, according to Richard Friedman (1987) and Gary Greenberg (1996), supposedly, was the first to argue that Moses was NOT the author of the Pentateuch. [12]

Powers invisible
Hobbes, in his Leviathan, famous quipped about “powers invisible” (compare: higher power) in his ridicule of foolish people and the means about which they invent gods; the first use of this term is as follows: [11]

“[Foolish people] make little or no inquiry into the natural causes of things, yet from the fear that proceeds from the ignorance itself, of what it is that hath the power to do them much good or harm, are inclined to suppose, and feign unto themselves, several kinds of powers invisible; and to stand in awe of their own imaginations ; and in time of distress to invoke them; as also in the time of an expected good success, to give them thanks ; making the creatures of their own fancy, their gods

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Atheism
In 1651, Hobbes, in his Leviathan, argued that the world is a machine-like thing that runs itself, in which a government is need to keep people's existences from being: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short; this publication, soon thereafter, was referred to as an “atheist’s bible” (Ѻ); it has been classified by others as a “crypto-atheistic work”. [10]

Hobbes, while never referring to himself as an "atheist", was referred to as such in his century and thereafter.

In 1666, in the English Commons, a bill against atheism was introduced that mentioned Leviathan by name. [9]

Bacon
In the 1620s, Hobbes, at the age of circa 33 to 37, worked for some time as the secretary or “amanuensis” of Francis Bacon, supposedly during the period after Bacon’s political fall (Ѻ) of 1621, wherein, during his remaining five years of existence, he began to devote himself to study and writing; Hobbes was said to have taken notes for Bacon, translated some of his essays, and spent time conversing with him. [7]

Reductionism
Hobbes, according to American neurological anthropologist Terrence Deacon, argued that all phenomena, including human activity, could ultimately be reduced to bodies and their interactions—and in this sense is ranked as one of the leading reductionists since the Greek atomic theory school. [6]

Sense
In 1655, Hobbes, in his On the Body, stated the following in sense and bodies in general: [4]

“I know there have been certain philosophers, and they learned men, who have held that all bodies are endowed with sense; nor do I see, if the nature of the sense be set alongside reaction solely, how they can be refuted.”

English physiologist Charles Sherrington quotes this passage in his 1940 meanderings on whether or not a cell has "some modicum of mind" when it seeks its food, actuates its defense systems, or moves about in the body. [5]
Influenced
Hobbes influenced to Benedict Spinoza and his natural right of "things" theologico-political philosophy;

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Hobbes:

“I found him to lard and seal every asseveration with a rounded oath, and to undervalue all other men's opinions and judgements, to defend to the utmost what he asserted though never so absurd, to have a high conceit of his own abilities and performances, though never so absurd and pitiful, &c. He would not be persuaded, but that a common spectacle-glass was as good an eye-glass for a thirty six foot glass as the best in the world, and pretended to see better than all the rest, by holding his spectacle in his hand, which shook as fast one way as his head did the other; which I confess made me bite my tongue.”’
Robert Hooke (1663), “Letter to Robert Boyle” on his meeting of Thomas Hobbes at Richard Reeve’s optical instruments shop, late Jun [16]

“There may be some Spinosists (Spinozaism) beyond the seas; but not one English infidel in a hundred is any other than a Hobbist (see: Hobbesian); which I know to be rank atheism in the private study and select conversation of these men; whatever it may appear abroad.”
— Richard Bently (1692), “Letter to a Professor” [8]

“The earliest writer who deserves to be called a psychologist is Hobbes.”
— George Romanes (1885), “Mind and Motion” [17]

Hobbes thought in an atmosphere of dualism—yet Hobbes was a resolute opponent of dualism. He suspected Descartes of paltering with philosophy to appease the Jesuits—his philosophy must find a corner for the mysteries of the Catholic faith, e.g. transubstantiation, pro salute animae (Ѻ); and was a system to be received which fell hopelessly apart in the middle, and which demanded a miracle to restore a unity which a philosophy worthy of the name was bound to demonstrate impossible?”
— Pogson Smith (c.1895), “The Philosophy of Hobbes” [14]

Hobbes’ masterwork, Leviathan, was an attempt to develop a political theory out of the mechanical view.”
Philip Ball (2004), Critical Mass [2]

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Hobbes:

“It is the nature of all corporeal beings, who have been frequently moved in the same manner, to continually receive a greater aptitude, or to produce the same motions with more facility.”
— Thomas Hobbes (1640), “Essay on Human Nature” (Ѻ); cited by Baron d’Holbach (1770) in The System of Nature (pg. 70)

“Now, look how many sorts of things there are which properly fall within the cognizance of human reason, into so many branches does the tree of philosophy divide itself. For treating of figures, it is called geometry; of motion, physics; of natural right, morals; put all together, and they make up philosophy. And truly the geometricians [see: Holbach's geometrician] have very admirably performed their part. For whatsoever assistance doth accrue to the life of man, whether from the observation of the heavens or from the description of the earth; from the notation of times, or from the remotest experiments of navigation; finally, whatsoever things they are in which this present age doth differ from the rude simpleness of antiquity, we must acknowledge to be a debt, which we owe merely to geometry. If the moral philosophers had as happily discharged their duty, I know not what could have been added by human industry to the completion of that happiness which is consistent with human life. For were the nature of human actions as distinctly known as the nature of quantity in geometrical figures, the strength of avarice and ambition, which is sustained by the erroneous opinions of the vulgar as touching the nature of right and wrong, would presently faint and languish; and mankind should enjoy such an immortal peace, that unless it were for habitation, on supposition that the earth should grow too narrow for her inhabitants, there would hardly be left any pretense for war.”
— Thomas Hobbes (1642), Publication (Ѻ); in 1894 “Preface” (pg. 6-7) of Leviathan; bolded section seems to be synopsis of Benedict Spinoza’s Ethics (1675) [1]

“That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it will lie still forever, is a truth that no man doubts of. But that when a thing is in motion, it will eternally be in motion, unless somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same, namely, that nothing can change itself, is not so easily assented to. For men measure, not only other men, but all other things, by themselves; and because they find themselves subject after motion to pain, and lassitude, think everything else grows weary of motion, and seeks repose of its own accord; little considering, whether it be not some other motion, wherein that desire of rest they find in themselves, consistent.”
— Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan (§2: On Imagination) (pg. 3)

“All the qualities called ‘sensible’ are, in the object which causeth them, but so many motions of the matter by which it presseth on our organs diversely. Neither in us that are pressed are they anything else but divers motions; for motion produceth nothing but motion. . . . The cause of sense is the external body or object, which presseth the organ proper to each sense, either immediately, as in taste and touch, or mediately, as in hearing, seeing, and smelling; which pressure, by the mediation of the nerves, and other strings and membranes of the body, continued inwards to the brain and heart, causeth there a resistance, or counterpressure, or endeavour. . . . And because going, speaking, and the like voluntary motions, depend always upon a precedent thought of whither, which way, and what; it is evident that the imagination [or idea] is the first internal beginning of all voluntary motion. And although unstudied men do not conceive any motion at all to be there, where the thing moved is invisible; or the space it is moved in is, for the shortness of it, insensible; yet that doth not hinder, but that such motions are. These small beginnings of motion, within the body of man, before they appear in walking, speaking, striking, and other visible actions, are commonly called ‘endeavor’.”
— Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan (pt. I, §1 and 6); cited by George Romanes (1885) in “Mind and Motion” [17]

“The world is corporeal; it has the dimensions of size, that is to say, length, breadth, and depth. Each portion of a body, is a body, and has these same dimensions: consequently, each part of the universe is a body, and that which is not a body, is no part of the universe; but as the universe is every thing, that which does not make a part of it, is nothing, and can be no part.”
Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan (§:46); cited by Baron d’Holbach (1770) in The System of Nature (pg. 233)

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: and diverse men, differ not only in their judgment, on the senses of what is pleasant and unpleasant to the taste, smell, hearing, touch, and sight; but also of what is conformable or disagreeable to reason, in the actions of common life.”
Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan [15]

“And when they come to give account how an incorporeal substance can be capable of pain, and be tormented in the fire of hell or purgatory, they have nothing at all to answer, but that it cannot be known how fire can burn souls.”
— Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan (§:On the Kingdom of Darkness, pg. 304)

“Then for ‘physics’, that is, the knowledge of the subordinate and secondary causes of natural events; they render none at all, but empty words. If you desire to know why some kind of bodies sink naturally downwards toward the earth, and others go naturally from it, the schools will tell you out of Aristotle, that the bodies that sink downwards are ‘heavy’, and that this heaviness is it that causes them to descend. But if you ask what they mean by ‘heaviness’, they will define it to be an endeavour to go to the centre of the earth. So that the cause why things sink downward, is an endeavour to be below; which is as much as to say, that bodies descend, or ascend, because they do. Or they will tell you the centre of the earth is the place of rest, and conservation for heavy things; and therefore, they endeavour to be there: as if stones and metals had a ‘desire’, or could discern the place they would be at, as man does; or loved rest, as man does not; or that a piece of glass were less save in the window than falling to the street.”
— Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan (§:On the Kingdom of Darkness, pg. 304-05); cited by Steven Shapin (1985) in Leviathan and the Air Pump (pg. 93)

“The chimerical fear of invisible powers is the origin of all religions.”
— Thomas Hobbes (c.1651) attributed and or paraphrase; in: The Three Imposters (1712) [9]

“There is only one reality in the world—it is movement, external, without beginning, the cause of each and every change.”
— Thomas Hobbes (c.1651), Publication; cited by George Gore (1902) in “The Coming Scientific Morality”; cited by Anon (1902) in “Materialist Morality”

Desire to know why, and how – curiosity, which is a lust of the mind, that a perseverance of delight in the continued and indefatigable generation of knowledge – exceeds the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.”
— Thomas Hobbes (c.1660) (Ѻ)

“If men found their interest in it, they would doubt the truth of Euclid’s Elements.”
— Thomas Hobbes (c.1660), Publication (Ѻ); cited by Baron d’Holbach (1770) in The System of Nature (pg. 221)

References
1. (a) Hobbes, Thomas. (1651). Leviathan: the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil (introduction: Henry Morley). Routledge, 1894.
(b) Leviathan (book) – Wikipedia.
2. Ball, Philip. (2004). Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another (social physics, social mechanics, pg. 58; free will, pgs. 71-72, Buckle, 65-69, 205). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
3. Shachtman, Tom. (1999). Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold (pgs. 32-35). Mariner Books.
4. (a) Hobbes, Thomas. (1655). Elementary Philosophy on the Body (Elementorum philosophiae sectio prima De corpore), IV, 25. Publisher.
(b) De Corpore – Wikipedia.
5. Sherrington, Charles. (1940). Man on His Nature (pg. 99). CUP Archive.
6. Deacon, Terrence W. (2011). Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (pg. 153). W.W. Norton & Co.
7. Bunce, Robin. (2003). “Thomas Hobbes’ Relationship with Francis Bacon: an Introduction” (abs), Hobbes Studies, 16:41-83.
8. (a) Berman, David. (1988). A History of Atheism in Britain: from Hobbes to Russell (pg. 49-50). Routledge.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 324). HarperOne.
9. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 324; chimerical, pg. 333). HarperOne.
10. Berman, David. (2013). A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes to Russell (pg. 110). Routledge.
11. (a) Hobbes, Thomas. (1651). Leviathan: the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil (introduction: Henry Morley) (invisible powers, pgs. 56, 58, 61) Routledge, 1894.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 323). HarperOne.
12. (a) Friedman, Richard E. (1987). Who Wrote the Bible (Hobbes, 6+ pgs). Summit Books.
(b) Greenberg, Gary. (1996). The Bible Myth: the African Origins of the Jewish People (pgs. 26, 285). Citadel Press.
13. (a) Popiel, Jennifer J. (2004). “Introduction” in: Leviathan (pgs. xi-xvi). Barnes & Noble.
(b) Jennifer Popiel (faculty) – Saint Louis University.
14. (a) Smith, Pogson W.G. (c.1895). “The Philosophy of Hobbes” (Ѻ), in: Leviathan. Publisher, 1909.
(b) Hobbes, Thomas. (1651). Leviathan (pg. xix). Barnes & Nobel, 2004.
15. Hobbes, Leviathan. (1651). Leviathan: or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil (pg. 78) (Ѻ). George Routledge and Sons.
16. Inwood, Stephen. (2003). The Man Who Knew Too Much: the Strange and Inventive Life of Robert Hooke 1653-1703 (senses, pg. 52). Pan MacMillan.
17. Romanes, George. (1885). “Mind and Motion”, Reed Lecture; in: Mind and Motion and Monism (pg. 1). Publisher, 1895.
18. (a) Shapin, Steven and Schaffer, Simon. (1985). Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life. Princeton University Press, 2011.
(b) Leviathan and the Air-Pump – Wikipedia.
19. (a) Hobbes, Thomas. (1661). Physics Dialogue on Nature of Air: Facts Taken from Experiments Recently Made in Gresham College, London, as Well as the Duplication of the Cube (Dialogus physicus, sive, De natura aeris: conjectura sumpta ab experimentis nuper Londini habitis in Collegio Greshamensi, item de duplicatione cubi). Typis.
(b) Shapin, Steven; Schaffer, Simon. (1985). Leviathan and the Air Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (§: Appendix: Translation of Hobbes’ Dialogus Physicus by Simon Schaffer, pgs. 345-92) (pdf). Publisher; Princeton (Note: Princeton edition does not include translation), 2011.
20. Bobbio, Norberto. (1993). Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law Tradition (pg. 202). University of Chicago.

External links
Thomas Hobbes – Wikipedia.

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