Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, one of the greatest philosophers of law and state, died 250 years ago, on December 4, 1679. His name was so frequently associated with a certain unfortunate conception of his moral and political philosophy, that the public's lack of interest in this centenary is not to be wondered at. So far, even amongst the scholars who admitted his merits, few tried to penetrate into the depths of his thought, and only at the end of the last century, thanks to the writings of Ferdinand Tönnies and George Croom Robertson, was a new impulse given to research into Hobbes’ spiritual heritage. A series of monographies was published, and the personality of Hobbes appeared in a new light. His theories, when better known, proved to be less crude and more human than they had seemed, for they are a reaction from the revolutionary tendencies of his time.
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