Detail from painting by John Michael Wright, c.
Among the most-influential philosophers of law from the early modern period was Thomas Hobbes —whose theory of law was a novel amalgam of themes from both the natural-law and command-theory traditions.
Disgraced after engaging in a brawl at his own church door, he disappeared and abandoned his three children to the care of his brother, a well-to-do glover in Malmesbury.
When he was four years old, Hobbes was sent to school at Westport, then to a private school, and finally, at 15, to Magdalen Hall in the University of Oxfordwhere he took a traditional arts degree and in his spare time developed an interest in maps.
For nearly the whole of his adult life, Hobbes worked for different branches of the wealthy and aristocratic Cavendish family. Upon taking his degree at Oxford inhe was employed as page and tutor to the young William Cavendish, afterward the second earl of Devonshire. Over the course of many decades Hobbes served the family and their associates as translator, traveling companion, keeper of accounts, business representative, political adviser, and scientific collaborator.
Through his employment by William Cavendishthe first earl of Devonshire, and his heirs, Hobbes became connected with the royalist side in disputes between the king and Parliament that continued until the s and that culminated in the English Civil Wars — Page 1 of 6.Thomas Hobbes is one of the more obscure of the important philosophers of history.
He is, of course, best known for "Leviathan", and its political theory of the absolute authority of the sovereign ruler/5(10). De Cive (The Citizen) Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society by Thomas Hobbes Introduction by the Editor Table of Contents.
1. Major Political Writings. Hobbes wrote several versions of his political philosophy, including The Elements of Law, Natural and Politic (also under the titles Human Nature and De Corpore Politico) published in , De Cive () published in English as Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society in , the English .
Among the most-influential philosophers of law from the early modern period was Thomas Hobbes (–), whose theory of law was a novel amalgam of themes from both the natural-law and command-theory traditions.
He also offered some of the earliest criticisms of common-law theory. An Introduction to the Work of Rousseau, including discussions of On the Social Contract, The First and Second Discourses, and link to bibliography. The Second Discourse – Nature, Human Nature, and the History of Humanity Hobbes’s Leviathan state gives legal sanction to despotic rule, while Locke’s commercial republic cannot.
These ideas are most comprehensively set forth in the Leviathan (), which text serves as the basis for this introduction to Hobbes’s thought. Lawrence Burns, “Thomas Hobbes,” in History of Political Philosophy, Eds.
Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, Chicago: