(1588-1679). English philosopher and political theorist, and naturalist whose mechanistic theories provoked distrust and political polemics and ecclesiastical circles. He made several trips to France and Italy where he was associated with various advanced thinkers of his time, including Galileo, René Descartes and Pierre Gassendi. In 1637, while in England, Hobbes was interested in the constitutional dispute between King Charles I and Parliament. He then wrote a little treatise defending the royal prerogative. This work secretly circulated in 1640 under the title Elements of the natural and political rights (1650). Hobbes feared that Parliament decreed his arrest for having written the book, and went to Paris, where he remained in voluntary exile for eleven years. The best-known work of Hobbes, Leviathan or essence, form and power of an ecclesiastical and civil community (1651), is a vigorous exposition of his doctrine of sovereignty. This work was investigated by the House of Commons because of his alleged atheistic tendencies. The move prompted Hobbes burned many of his papers and tarried so long to publish three of his works: Behemoth: The Story of the causes of the civil war in England; Dialogues between a philosopher and a student of English common law, and extensive Ecclesiastical History. Hobbes's philosophy represents a reaction against the freedom of conscience of the Reformation, which he claimed led to anarchy. Supposedly marked a break from the English philosophy scholasticism, and laid the foundations of modern scientific sociology in trying to apply to humans, as authors and terms of society, the principles of physical science that govern the material world.