The Normative and the Explanatory in Hobbes's Political Philosophy (by Tom Sorell) - ABSTRACT:
Tom Sorell modifies an interpretation he presented in his Hobbes (1986). He continues to maintain that Hobbesian natural philosophy and Hobbesian civil philosophy are methodologically quite distinct, as well as distinct in subject-matter. But it is misleading to put this by saying that civil philosophy is normative and natural philosophy is explanatory, as if civil philosophy itself weren’t supposed to be explanatory. Civil philosophy can be explanatory in the sense of specifying normative precepts for achieving a certain goal precepts that correspondingly explain the achievement of that goal. Explanatory civil science is still quite distinct from explanatory natural science, however, contrary to what is claimed by Sorell’s critics.