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Thomas Hobbes

Review Quiz

Study Questions

Further Reading

1. What innate human faculty makes natural man want to escape the state of nature?

2. What innate human faculty allows natural man to discover how to escape the state of nature?

3. For Hobbes, what is science?

4. What determines "good" and "evil" in Hobbes's argument?

5. For Hobbes, all philosophical knowledge must be derived from first principles, or shared definitions. How are these first principles established?

6. Why did Hobbes believe that the observation of nature was not suitable for the foundation of philosophy?

7. Why is the Leviathan called "artificial"?

8. What is the original source for the name "Leviathan"?

9. How does matter move in Hobbes's philosophy?

10. In the state of nature, why will two natural men inevitably fight if they desire the same thing?

11. Why does Hobbes claim that all men in the state of nature are equal?

12. Why is it justifiable for the sovereign to put a subject to death?

13. When is it justified for subjects to rebel against the sovereign?

14. What innate faculty prevents civilized man from breaking the social contract?

15. What does Hobbes see as the immediate result of a rebellion against the sovereign, or against the social covenant, as in civil war?

16. Which of the following does Hobbes believe approximates the living conditions of the state of nature?

17. What is the "Fundamental Law of Nature"?

18. Which of the following does Hobbes equate with an author, whose words are his or her own?

19. What is the primary purpose of the Leviathan?

20. In the state of nature, Hobbes argues that familial power is maternal because

21. Which of the following, according to Hobbes, can be a sovereign body?

22. For Hobbes, how do we come to have natural laws?

23. Hobbes claims that being ignorant of the Laws of Nature does not excuse a subject who breaks the laws because

24. According to Hobbes, angels and demons are

25. Which of the following commands, if given by the sovereign, does a subject have the right to disobey?

More Help

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Hobbes Leviathan, Important Terms: PLENUM

by HerrDay, October 12, 2014

Sparknotes editors, you need to review your definition of PLENUM in the glossary for Hobbes' Leviathan. A picture of the universe as a plenum makes a vacuum impossible.

Fifteenth Law of Nature

by YHLD, March 16, 2016

Dear editors,
The 15th Law of Nature is missing in this summary (Book I, Chapters 14-16, first page). Because of the missing number, the 15th Law is explained as the 16th, the 16th as the 17th and the 18th has become a short version of both the 17th and the 18th Law of Nature. Could you please look into this?

Further information

by TravisJamesIV, October 04, 2016

useful coverage of Hobbes basic terms. For further in-depth knowledge of these terms check out my blog where I have a short introductory essay to Hobbes state of nature being a state of war.

See all 5 readers' notes   →