Thomas Hobbes: The Best Introductory Resources

This page features a collection of the best resources on Thomas Hobbes. To get started, simply choose the type of resource that best suits your learning style.

If you want a comprehensive overview of Hobbes:

“The 17th Century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes is now widely regarded as one of a handful of truly great political philosophers, whose masterwork Leviathan rivals in significance the political writings of Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Rawls. Hobbes is famous for his early and elaborate development of what has come to be known as “social contract theory”, the method of justifying political principles or arrangements by appeal to the agreement that would be made among suitably situated rational, free, and equal persons. He is infamous for having used the social contract method to arrive at the astonishing conclusion that we ought to submit to the authority of an absolute—undivided and unlimited—sovereign power….”

If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:

If you’d prefer a video introduction:

If you prefer audio and podcasts:

If you’d just like to casually browse a few quotes:

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the Best Books on Hobbes


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