In a state of nature canaries pair, but under domestication the male bird has been rendered polygamous, being often put with four or five females; still he is said to show a distinct preference for the female with which he was first mated.
He attacked the philosophy of Hobbes in his Mr Hobb's State of Nature considered; in a dialogue between Philautus and Timothy (1672), and in his Some Opinions of Mr Hobbs considered in a second dialogue (1673).
He combated Hobbes's conception of the state of nature and concluded that the state of nature is not one of war but of peace.
Until comparatively recent times the surrounding district was in a state of nature with merely a thin coating of turf interspersed with tufts of heath and dwarf thistles, but bare of trees and shrubs and altogether devoid of the works of man, with the exception of a series of prehistoric barrows of the Bronze Age which, singly and in groups, studded the landscape.
Hobbes, when he laid it down that the state of nature is a state of war, and that civil organization is the source of all moral laws, was under the influence of two great aversions, political anarchy and religious domination.
The more powerful creatures in a state of nature are accustomed to kill a prey too large to be devoured at once, and to return to it again and again, long after it has become putrid; the smaller forms, for the most part, devour nothing but small creatures immediately after they have been captured and killed, and consequently in an absolutely fresh condition.
The canary is very prolific, producing eggs, not exceeding six in number, three or four times a year; and in a state of nature it is said to breed still oftener.
Hobbes's conception of the state of nature antecedent to civil organization as a state of war and moral anarchy was obviously very offensive to churchmen.