The concept of motion explains how Hobbes goes from sense to what he calls "
" or "
." According to the prevailing Aristotelian physics during Hobbes' time, an object's natural state was rest. YetHobbes argued exactly the opposite: objects are constantly in motion, or to put it in Newtonian terms (which was to be later formulated 1687), an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Now,after an object induces motion (and hence, sense) within us is removed, the feelings or impression it left us with donot automatically disappear. The motion set off by originally sensing this object gradually goes away, or decays, over time when some other sense or offsetting motion occurs. For example, you can still picture the image of somethingyou experienced when your eyes are closed, and can still imagine a stove being hot even when you are not touching it.In other words, just because we are not directly sensing something does not mean that we have lost the feeling or impression it originally left us with. We can imagine things we no longer directly sense, and have
of feelings past, which make up our
.While animals have, in some respect, memories and imaginations of their own, what distinguishes humansfrom other animals, according to Hobbes, is
. Thought, or the transition from oneimagination or memory to another, is not as random as it sometimes seems, and can be divided into two types: guidedand unguided. Unguided thoughts, like those in a dream, may appear to be disconnected, but in reality are quick successions of thoughts connected by experience. For example, you might pass a hair salon and start to cravemeatloaf. This might seem random at first, but if you think hard about a hair salon you might remember having to sitquietly at the salon in your hometown while your mom got her hair done; and having spoken to your mother earlier inthe day, you might remember the meatloaf she made for you back as a child.Regardless of how outlandish and random a thought may seem, Hobbes argues it can be traced back to a perfectly logical train of thought (which goes along with Hobbes' thesis about constantly interacting motions in our mind).
thought concerns ends and means, and can itself be divided into two subsets: 1) when we begin with adesire - or end - and think of what means will bring about this desired end, and 2) when we are in possession of somegeneral means, and then think about what sorts of ends we can achieve with it.Thoughts are internal, and the way we express thoughts is through speech, which helps us to remember our past thoughts and express them to others. Hobbes identifies four main uses of
: 1) to remember cause andeffect relations, 2) to show others our knowledge, 3) to express our will and desire to others, and 4) for sheer pleasure. Note that in all four cases, speech is conceived pragmatically. It is a practical instrument for expressing our thoughtsto others.Speech is also the basis of
, as "truth consisteth in the right ordering of names in our affirmations." For example, "A man is a living creature" is a true statement, but only insofar as people share the same definitions of whatthe meanings of the words, "man," "is," and "living creature." We can see from this definition of truth the necessity of settling upon agreed definitions. Hobbes believes that geometry, "the only Science that it hath pleased God hitherto to bestow upon mankind," provides a model that philosophy should emulate. Specifically, geometry begins first byestablishing agreed upon definitions, and from these proceeds logically through reason to build further principles andconclusions.Additionally, Hobbes argues that truth, or the validity of
, which he defines as the "Reckoning (that is,Adding and Subtracting) of the Consequences of generall names agreed upon," is not established because a greatnumber of people agree upon something, or (contrary to Plato and his Philosopher King in
) because a particularly enlightened person says so. No man's reason is infallible, and so man's reason should be trusted without proof. Therefore, reason - proceeding from one statement to the next in a logical order - can only be verified byoneself individually.Thus, since definitions, truth, first-principles and reason cannot be founded upon natural science, generalconsensus or a particularly enlightened person, Hobbes argues that there must be some agreed-upon judge or bodythat establishes such things. One should note that establishing an agreed-upon body does not contradict Hobbes'earlier argument against truth by consensus. Hobbes objects to inherited or traditional forms of truth. In other words,something is not true for Hobbes simply because many people believe it to be true, or because it has been traditionallyconsidered true. Truth for Hobbes, rather, must follow from consent. When people consent to join a larger body of truth, that larger body is legitimated. Foreshadowing his argument for an agreed-upon sovereign, Hobbes claims thatestablishing sovereignty by consent is the only way to avoid conflict among people.
, Hobbes argues against the "Scholastic" philosophy of Aristotle. This is particularly thecase in the early parts of
, where Hobbes argues directly against Aristotle's' philosophy of essentialism.According to this school of thought, objects in the external world have a certain "essence" that gives them the