Hobbes, Thomas

[ (hobz) ]

A seventeenth-century British political philosopher; the author of Leviathan. According to Hobbes, human life in a “state of nature” is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” He argued that government must be strong, even repressive, to keep people from lapsing into a savage existence.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.