Hobbes’s Theory of Responsibility as Support for Sommerville’s Argument Against Hobbes’s Approval of Independency

In: Hobbes Studies
S. A. LloydSchool of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA,

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Just as some types of philosophical analysis are more useful than others to historians or political scientists, so, I find, are some sorts of historical research more useful to philosophers than are other sorts. Sommerville makes history useful to non-historians by clarifying the large-scale historical background against which his investigative questions are posed, and then separating out crucial figures, ideas, and events from arcana of interest primarily to specialist historians. His interpretations are relatively neutral, striking a welcome balance between mere reporting of events or textual ideas on the one hand, and on the other, accounts so theoretically laden that they prejudge or foreclose promising interpretive possibilities.

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