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Published in 1651, Leviathan is considered to be one of the most important works of political philosophy and a major contribution to the modern idea of central government. In the mid-17th century, England was going through a turbulent time of change and unrest, which likely shaped Hobbes' ideas on strong government.
Thomas Hobbes established the social contract theory. He believed that self-government did not create the ideal state due to the human tendency to be self-serving, something he believed would eventually lead to chaos. According to Hobbes' ideas, an ideal society includes a strong government that can promote order and therefore peace.
Although best known as an English political philosopher, Thomas Hobbes contributed to a variety of field, including physics, ethics, history, and theology. In spite of his belief in society's need of sovereignty, Hobbes is also known for some of his more liberal ideas, such as the right of the individual and the equality of all men.