90 Sociology and Hobbes MARTIN A. BERTMAN There is a delicate balance between the two wings of a scientific investigation of society; this balance must result from the work of organizing empirical research and theoretical construction. Political philosophy has provided a long history of theoretical frameworks which have often shown an acute logical and method- ological sensibility but are usually deficient in the 'cash value' of empirical resesarch. Nevertheless, the attractiveness of a great philosopher's social theory is the power of a sort of persuasive 'root-metaphor' for charting human experi- ence which wraps together a vision of psychology, social action, and the actual- ity of the human condition. Empirical research, therefore, adds and refines, elab- orates and redirects, the theoretical compass found in a philosopher like Thomas Hobbes. Indeed, Hobbes's vision of society is captivating just because it is plausibly crude and simple; I do not mean to say his thinking is unsophisticated but, rather, that he provides a plausible, commonsensically small grouping of principles from which he constructs what he calls a 'science of politics' and 'science' for him means that these fundamental principles relate to each other in an orderly and deductive way that explains the
Hobbes Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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