Hobbes 1588 - 1697 (109)

Curiosity is the lust of the mind.



NATURE hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, scientist and political thinker, born in central England on April 5, 1588. His father was a poor vicar. He left his three children under the supervision of his wealthy brother, who paid for the studies of the prominent Thomas in Oxford. After graduating, Thomas was recruited as a master of the Baron's of Devonshire children, a position that offered him great opportunities for cultivation. Apart from the large library at his disposal, in the Baron's house many personalities of letters, arts and politics were been gathering, with whom he came into contact. In 1610 he traveled with his pupil in France and Italy. He began a translation of Thucydides from ancient Greeks and worked on his first philosophical work, "Elements of Law" that will be published much later (1640). At the same time he was studying geometry (the works of Euclid) and physics.

In 1641 and due to the civil war in England, he remained self-determined in Paris. He became known for his criticism of Catholicism and his atheist tendencies; so many distrusted him. He started working on "Leviathan” which was published in 1651 and caused strong reactions in the royal court as well as in the French church; he was forced to leave Paris and returned to England at a time of great political turmoil. For several years he lived in cross-fire because of his writings. After the re-establishment of the royalty in 1660, the new king, Charles II who was once his student granted him with an annual pension of 1000 pounds. Since then he lived peacefully occupied with writing, researching various scientific disciplines and being a celebrity, having visitors from all over Europe. During his last years, he returned to the classic letters; he translated Homer's work into English and wrote his autobiography. He had spiritual clarity until his last days, he died in 1679. His last words were: "I am ready to make my last trip, a huge leap in the darkness".