« AnteriorContinuar »
5859 Hobbes' (thomas, of Malmesbury) Complete Works, English
and Latin, now first collected and edited by Sir William Moleswortii, Bart. 14 vols. 8vo, portrait and plates, cloth lettered, 8/. 8*. 1839-43
5860 the same; 14 vols. 8vo, calf extra, 10/. 10*. 1839-43
5861 the same ;14vols.roy.8vo, Large PAPER,bds.l4/.14s.l839-43
5862 — the same; 14 vols, royal 8vo, Large Paper, half-bound
morocco, uncut, top edges gilt, 18/. 1839-43
Contents Of Thk English Works.
Computation, or Logic
Philosophical Rudiments concerning
Leviathan: or the Matter, Form, and
Tripos, in three Discourses; I. Hu-
Answer to Bp. Bramholl's Catching
Concerning Heresy and the Punish-
Considerations upon the Reputation,
Answer to Sir Win. Davenant's Pre-
Letter to the Right Hon. E. Howard.
Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance, clearly stated and debated between Dr. Bramhall, Bishop of Derry, and Thomas Hobbes.
Dialogue between a Philosopher and
Behemoth: the History of the Causes
Whole Art of Rhetoric
Art of Rhetoric plainly set forth, with pertinent examples
Art of Sophistry.
Seven Philosophical Problems, and
Two Propositions of Geometry
Thucydides* History of the Peloponesian War, translated by Thomas Hobbes.
Contents Op Tbe Latin Works.
Vita, Authore seipso
Vitffi Hobbiana? Auctarium, auctoro
Vita, Carmine expressa, Authore se-
Elementorum Philosophise Sectio pri-
Elementorum Philosophise Sectio Se
cunda, de Homine
tia, de Cive.
Leviathan: sive de Materia, Forma, et Potestate Civitatis Ecclesiastics et Civilis. Accedit Appendix, contiin us tria Capita: I. de Symbolo Nicamo; IE. de Haresi; m. de quibusdam Objectionibus contra Leviathan,
De Mirabilibus Pecci
Historia Ecclesiastica Rom an a, &c.
Amongst those great and original thinkers, who, during the seventeenth century, placed the moral and political sciences upon firm and indisputable bases, none held a higher place, or possessed greater intellectual powers than
THOMAS HOBBES OF MALMESBURY.
His Treatises on Logic, Human Nature, and Government, were, and are still, deservedly admired, as well for depth of thought as for exquisite precision of style, both in Latin and English. The influence of these works is manifest throughout the speculations of the most distinguished of the succeeding Philosophers, by whom, there is no doubt, they were studied with the greatest care. Thus many of the most important opinions of Locke, Bishop Berkeley, and Hume*—nay, not a few which form the very groundwork of their systems—will be found clearly propounded in the works of Hobbes. And, notwithstanding the subsequent labours of Hartley and Mill, an intimate acquaintance with the ideas of the philosopher of Malmesbury is still indispensable for all who wish to acquire a mastery of Metaphysical Science. But though the productions of this truly great Writer are held in the highest estimation by the most competent judges, yet no edition exists of his collected works, and the separate Pieces are far beyond the purse of the general Reader.
To the admirers of Hobbes it has always been a source of regret, that, whilst* the productions of his contemporaries (Bacon, Grotius, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, Milton, and we may add Locke) have been carefully collected, a similar degree of diligence has not been evinced with regard to those of the master-mind, Hobbes, which, in consequence, have become so excessively rare, that it is now nearly impossible to procure a complete set at any price. To supply this disgraceful deficiency in English Literature, the Editor was induced to undertake the task of collecting and publishing the first uniform Edition of
THE ENTIRE WORKS OF THOMAS HOBBES,
WITH A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, AND A VIEW OF HIS PHILOSOPHY,
Forming 14 volumes octavo, each containing above 500 pages, printed on fine hot-pressed paper, in the best style of modern Typography. A very limited number of copies are taken off on Large Paper, in royal octavo, for which an early application is recommended.
To quote Testimonies in favour of Hobbes may appear unnecessary: yet it will be but justice, when we consider the unmerited obloquy attached to his writings by those who were either his political enemies, or hated and feared him for that spirit of free inquiry, with which he investigated the grounds of all political and ecclesiastical dominion. When, also, it is remembered that the calumnies, to which these feelings of animosity gave birth, have, since the period in which he lived up even to the present day, been industriously propagated by men, who, relying on the character drawn of him by his antagonists, probably never read one line of his arguments, or, if they did, have done so for the sole purpose of deducing from isolated passages conclusions contrary to the general tenor of those arguments, it may not be deemed unadvised to cite a few of the numerous commendations on the vigour and purity of his style, which, without reference to his opinions, whether moral, metaphysical, or political, ought alone to recommend him to the diligent perusal of all admirers of close reasoning, couched in
• Dugald Stuwabt (in his dissertation prefixed to the Encyclopedia Britannica) states that Hobbes' works "have plaiuly been studied with the utmost care both by i/ocko and Hume. To the former they suggested some of his most important observations on the Association of Ideas."
such beautiful language, that even his bitterest foes were forced to admire, while they inveighed against his sentiments. Thus, Sir James Mackintosh, an unfriendly critic, says:
"thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury may he numbered among those eminent persons born in the latter half of the sixteenth century, who gave a new character to European philosophy in the succeeding age. A permanent foundation of his fame consists in His Admirable Style, Which Seems To He The Very Perfection Of DiDAcric Language. Short, clear, precise, and pithy, his language never has more than one meaning, which never requires a second thought to find. By the help of his exact method, it takes so linn a hold on the mind, that it will not allow attention to slacken. His little tract on Human Nature has scarcely an ambiguous or a needless word. He has so great a power of choosing the most significant term, that he never is reduced to the poor expedient of using many in its stead. He had so thoroughly studied the genius of the language, and knew so well to steer between pedantry and vulgarity, that two centuries have not superannuated probably more than a dozen of his words. His expressions are so luminous, that he is clear without the help of illustration. Perhaps no writer of any age or nation, on subjects so abstruse, has manifested an equal power of engraving his thoughts on the minds of his readers. He seems never to have taken a word for ornament or pleasure; and he deals with eloquence aud poetry as the natural philosopher, who explains the mechanism of children's toys, 01 deigns to contrive them. Yet his style so stimulates attention, that it never tires; and to those who are acquainted with the subject, appears to have as much spirit as can be blended with reason. He compresses his thoughts so unaffectedly, and yet so tersely, as to produce occasionally maxims which excite the same .agreeable surprise with wit, and have become a sort of philosophical proverbs; the success of which he partly owed to the suitableness of such forms of expression to his dictatorial nature."
Sin J. Mackintosh (Second Dissertation in Encyclopedia Britannica).
"The Leviathan contains in it good learning of all kinds, politely extracted, and very wittily and cunningly digested in a very commendable and in a vigorous and pleasant style."—Loiu> Clarendon ( View of the Leviathan).
"Hobbes' Language Is So Lucid And Concise, That It Would Almost Be As Improper To Pot An Algebraical Tiiocess In Different Terms As Some ov His Metaphysical PARAGRAPHS."—Hallam (Introduction to the Literature of Europe, wherein he has given an excellent analysis oj Hobbes' writings).
"Hobbes is a great name in philosophy; on account both of the value of what he taught, and the extraordinary impulse which he communicated to the spirit of free inquiry in Europe.
"The controversies roused by the daring attack of Luther on the established religion, had deeply, for a considerable time, engaged the minds of men, on the great questions relating to the Creator and his revelations to mankind. Philosophy, physical, mental, or political, was hardly an object of attention. A series of dogmas, handed down by authority, were passively received; and the very idea of inquiring into the foundation of them, seemed to have passed away from the minds of men. Even the great effort of Bacon to point the views of men to the proper object of physical inquiry, and to make them ardent in the pursuit, . had not yet produced any considerable effects. With respect to the mental and physical sciences, they were hardly regarded as objects of inquiry. The opinions of Aristotle were taught as a branch of education ; and the possession of them in the memory was all that even the most instructed men imagined they had any occasion to desire. In this benumbed and torpid state of the human mind, the appearance of such a man as Hobbes, who challenged so many received and fundamental opinions, and exhibited his own views with evidence and brevity, was calculated to produce very extraordinary effects. It is hardly, as Sir James Mackintosh somewhere acknowledges, too much to say that the
character of modern speculation was to a great degree determined by the writings of Hobbes."—Mill (Fragment on Mackintosh).
"Hobbes is commonly supposed to be an enemy to all religion, especially the Christian. But it is observable that in his attacks upon it (if at least he intended his chapter of the Christian Commonwealth in the Leviathan for an attack), he has taken direct contrary measures from those of Bayle, Collins, Tindal, Bolingbrokc, and all the other writers against Revelation. They endeavoured to shew the Gospel System as unreasonable as their extreme malice could make it; he as reasonable as his admirable wit could represent it. The schemes of Chubch Discipline likewise, which they and he severally recommended, were by an odd fatality as different as their representations of the Doctkine ; but in the reverse as to their qualities. They, all of them, contended for the most unbounded Toleration; he, for the most rigorous Conformity. He seems, indeed, to have formed his plan of Ecclesiastical Government before he turned his thoughts to the Christian Doctrine; and therefore as his politics had inforced an absolute submission to the civil magistrate in spirituals, he contrived, in order to make it go down the better, to make the object of this submission as reasonable as possible. Whereas the others, beginning with the Christian Doctrine, which they aimed to render as absurd as possible, very equitably contrived to make it sit easy on their followers, by a licentious kind of toleration destructive of all Church Discipline."
Bishop Wabbubton (Alliance between Church and State).
"The Philosopher of Malmesbury was the terror of the last age, as Tindal and Collins are of this. The press sweat with controversy, and every young churchman militant would try his arms in thundering on Hobbes' steel cap."
Bishop Wabbubton (Divine Legation).
"Mr. Hobbes, however sorry and mischievous a philosopher, was undoubtedly a very learned man. He hath shown it beyond dispute in his translation of Thucydides."—W. Smith, D.D. Dean Of Chesteii.
"Hobbes was a great favourite with Charles II, and was highly respected by many of the most distinguished personages .of his age. Like the illustrious Hume, his private character was correct and virtuous. In public he had many enemies, because they were interested to resist his opinions; but all who knew him acknowledged the integrity of his life, and the goodness of his heart. That his system of ethics and political morality is far from perfection, will be readily admitted ; but every man who reads his works with an unbiassed mind, will perceive that they are frauglit with the tenets of a sound and rational philosophy. That they were censured in Parliament, ordered to be burnt by Convocation, and opposed by the English Universities, are not arguments against their truth. The writings of Galileo met with a similar fate. The doctrines of the earth's rotundity, and of her motion round the sun, were denounced by the clergy as heretical, and were not only rejected, but voted to be absurd, by nearly all the collegiate establishments in Europe. The opinions of Hobbes coincide in many points with those of our best writers. Even Locke has not disdained to borrow from him his views of the origin and association of our ideas; and Hume, Hartley, and Priestley, are certainly indebted to him for the elements of their respective metaphysical systems. The dogmatical style in which he wrote, and the pushing of some of his principles beyond their proper limits, added to the simple circumstance of his having been almost the first who attacked the prevailing notion respecting the foundations of religion and morals, are the chief causes which have operated to bring Hobbes's works into disrepute. His boldness created an alarm which few have been able to conquer, and which it is the interest of the prejudiced to keep up. Thousands reprobate his opinions, but not one in a hundred has actually looked into his works. The general judgment of him is formed upon the evidence of tradition only; and hence the Tory condemns him as an enemy to royalty; and the Whig as a supporter of despotism: one calls him a Pyrrhonian; another a Materialist; a third a Deist; a fourth an Atheist; in short, he is every thing but a Christian; yet not a sentence does he utter against our holy religiim. On the contrary, many of his philosophical maxims arc favourable to her doctrines. Besides the works above noticed, Hobbes wrote a variety of others on different subjects. He made many useful discoveries; and proposed several ingenious theories in mechanical philosophy. Mr. Hazlitt, who lately gave a course of lectures on metaphysics in London, pronounced a high, and at the same time a very discriminating panegyric, on the philosopher of Malmsbury."
J. Bmtton (History of Wiltshire).
"Jn the constellation of luminaries that enlightened the literary horizon of Britain during the seventeenth century, Thomas Hobbes shines with distinguished lustre. The writings of this justly celebrated philosopher contain the outlines of that moral and metaphysical system, the propagation of which has gained immortal honor for Hartley, Hume, and Priestley. Like all other innovators in science, this great man experienced opposition, and even obloquy, from his contemporaries; but impartial posterity will admit that such merit as he possessed would have covered errors greater than he committed, and will allot him a distinguished place among those benefactors of mankind whose efforts have contributed to burst asunder the chains which ignorance and superstition had forged for the human mind. Of his private character, Lord Clarendon has left the following testimonial: 'Mr. Hobbes is one of the most ancient acquaintance I have in the world, and of whom I have ativays had a great esteem, as a matt who, besides his eminent parts of learning and knowledge, hath always been looked upon as a man of probity, and of a life free from scandal' i'ew authors have encountered more opposition than the Philosopher of Malmsbury. A "vague charge of Atheism has been brought against him by his adversaries; but since the philosophical principles he professed have been examined and admitted by some of trie ablest defenders of religion, more justice has been done to his character. His writings contain repeated testimonies in favour of Christianity; and he practised the duties of religion. It is particularly deserving of notice, that he received the sacrament several times, with apparent devotion, according to the Earl of Devonshire's chaplain. He was upon the whole a man of virtue; and was undoubtedly a bold and original thinker."—Rev. J. M. Moffatt ( History of Malmsbury).
"Notwithstanding the ill tendency of many of Mr. Hobbes' principles, Yet
THE AOUEEABLENESS OF HIS STYLE, OF WHICH HE WAS A OllEAT MASTER, joined
to his dogmatical way of pronouncing with a very decisive air, and the very oddness and apparent novelty of his notions, gave them a great run for a time, and did no small mischief."—J. Leland, D.U. ( View of the Deistical Writers).
Notwithstanding the great originality and soundness of many of the views of Hobbes with regard to society, it must be acknowledged, that the political system which he attempted to found upon them has in a great degree been subverted. By his contemporaries, however, his political productions were as much admired as his moral and metaphysical writings. For instance, with regard to his treatise on Government, the famous "De Cive," Gassendi, a high authority, wrote in a letter to Sorbiere :—
"Tarn paucafuere excusa libri exemplaria, ut ilia sin sitim potius fecerint, quam expleverint; siquidem innumcros videt), qui libntm ardenter, sed frustra reqidrant. Et liber certe est nan vulgaris, digniisque, qui omnium, qui altiora sapiuni, manibus teratur; nequ€ (si Ula seposuero, quia religumem, in qua sumus inpocoZot, adtinent) scriptorem agnosco, qui argumentum scrutetur, quam Ule, profundiiis, Utinam vero, ca-tera etiam, qua: ille versavit, perinde extorsisses 1 Quipjie ex ipsis in lucem prolatis summe bedsses uationein totatn Philosophanlium solide; cum ego quidem neminem norim, qui sit inter Philosophandum magis a prajudicio liber, quique penitius, quicquid rerum cdisseruit, introspiciat."—
Vita Hobbiana, p. 09-71.
Mersenne, in a letter to Sorbiere, mentions likewise the "De Cive"
"En audio, doctissime Sorbcri, tecum illud egreginm opus De Cive incomparabilis viri D. Ilobbii te Hagam Comitis, hoc est ingentem thesaurum literarium tulisse, lurvis auctum eogitationibus, quae singulis dijfiadtatibiis satisfacientes, planum iter exhibeant. Vide igitur, ut quis egregius TtfpograpUus librum ilium aureum, gemmis auctum et ornatum, in lucem tdat, neque diutius patiaris turn a nobis desiderari."—YlTA Hobbiana, p. 72.