Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

HUMAN NATURE,

OR THE

FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS

OF

POLICY.

BEING A DISCOVERY OF

THE FACULTIES, ACTS, AND PASSIONS,

OF

THE SOUL OF MAN,

FROM THEIR ORIGINAL CAUSES;

ACCORDING TO SUCH

PHILOSOPHICAL PRINCIPLES, AS ARE NOT COMMONLY KNOWN OR ASSERTED.

BY

THOMAS HOBBES

OF MALMESBURY.

TO THE READER.

READER,

It was thought good to let you know that Mr. Hobbes hath written a body of philosophy, upon such principles and in such order as are used by men conversant in demonstration : this he hath distinguished into three parts ; De Corpore, De Homine, De Cive; each of the consequents beginning at the end of the antecedent, and insisting thereupon, as the later Books of Euclid upon the former. The last of these he hath already published in Latin beyond the seas; the second is this now presented: and if these two receive justice in the world, there is hope we may obtain the first. He whose care it is, and labour, to satisfy the judgment and reason of mankind, will condescend so far, we hope, to satisfy the desire of those learned men whom these shall either have found or made ; which cannot be, until they shall analytically have followed the grand phænomena of states and kingdoms through the passions of particular men, into the elemental principles of natural and corporeal motions. The former work was published by the Author, and so is out of danger; this by a friend, with leave from him : and to secure this, you are intreated to consider the relations wherein it stands, especially to the book de Cive. It was thought a part of religion, not to make any change without the author's advice, which could not suddenly be obtained; and so it comes forth innocently, supposing nothing to have happened since the Dedication of it ; which if it seem a solecism to some, it may to others give satisfaction, in calling to mind those times and opportunities to which we are indebted for these admirable compositions.

F. B.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

WILLIAM, EARL OF NEWCASTLE,

GOVERNOR TO THE PRINCE HIS HIGHNESS,

ONE OF HIS MAJESTY'S MOST HONOURABLE PRIVY COUNCIL.

MY MOST HONOURED LORD, From the principal parts of Nature, Reason and Passion, have proceeded two kinds of learning, mathematical and dogmatical : the former is free from controversy and dispute, because it consisteth in comparing figure and motion only; in which things, truth, and the interest of men, oppose not each other : but in the other there is nothing undisputable, because it compareth men, and meddleth with their right and profit ; in which, as oft as reason is against a man, so oft will a man be against reason. And from hence it cometh, that they who have written of justice and policy in general, do all invade each other and themselves with contradictions. To reduce this doctrine to the rules and infallibility of reason, there is no way, but, first, put such principles down for a foundation, as passion, not mistrusting, may not seek to displace; and afterwards to build thereon the truth of cases in the law of nature (which hitherto have been built in the air) by degrees, till the whole have been inexpugnable. Now, my Lord, the principles fit for such a foundation, are those which heretofore

« PredošláPokračovať »