47Two other connotations, psychological and stylistic, come to mind. Seen fromthe first perspective, the passage is a kind of proto-associationism.
It is also easyto agree that the passage is one more apt example in the texture of
.All these connotations elucidate Hobbes’ philosophical practice, but saylittle about the very claim that the coherence of the train of thought is manifestenough. One may ask, how is a comparison that combines contemporary politicsand the history of Christianity compatible with Hobbes’ mechanism and mate-rialism, and, in particular, with his empiricism, according to which “there is noconception in a mans mind, which hath not at first, totally, or by parts, beenbegotten upon the organs of Sense“?
The question does not only relate to oneparticular occasion, but highlights a tension in Hobbes’ philosophical system;the tension which grows out when his materialistic and empiricist starting pointmeets his linguistic and rationalistic philosophical method and which, I think,culminates in his analysis of imagination.No independent study of Hobbes’ notion of imagination is available, but thenotion is a part of standard discussions of Hobbes’ psychology.
The standardview says that sense is the central notion in Hobbes’ psychology and that imagi-nation, as all the other cognitive faculties, is a mode of sense.
since the year, 1630. Together with a true and full discovery of the mysterie of his engagement for the destruction of the King and his royall posterity. Whereto is added an Epitaph
, London1649, 31. I am indebted for Dr. Clive Holmes (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford) for this piece of information.
See, for example, Richard Peters,
edition, Peregrine Books, London 1967, 107-108; Georg Croom Robertson,
, reprint, Thoemmes Press, Bristol 1993 , 129;and above all Clarence DeWitt Thorpe,
The Aesthetic Theory of Thomas Hobbes
, Universityof Michigan Press, Ann Arbor 1940, 90-96.
I.I, 3. The similar example of the coherence of conceptions in
Elements of Law
strengthens this intuition. See Thomas Hobbes,
Elements of Law: Human Nature and DeCorpore Politico with Three Lives
, edited with an introduction and notes by J. C. A. Gaskin,Oxford University Press, Oxford 1993, I.IV.2, 31. References are
given by Roman (part,chapter) and Arabic (article) numerals, which are followed by page number(s) in this edition.Hereafter:
Studies of some interest include Thorpe 1940, 79-117; Peters
1967, chapter 4; F.S. McNeilly,
The Anatomy of Leviathan
, MacMillan, London 1968, 30-1; Miriam M. Reik,
The Golden Landsof Thomas Hobbes
, Wayne State University Press, Detroit 1977, 141-143; Tom Sorell,
,Routledge, London 1986, 82-84; Gary B. Herbert,
Thomas Hobbes: The Unity of Scientific and Moral Wisdom
, UBC Press, Vancouver 1989, 69-70; Bernard Gert, ‘Hobbes’ Psychology’, in TomSorell (ed.),
The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge1996, 157-174; Cees Leijenhorst,
Mechanisation of Aristotelianism: The late Aristotelian Settingof Thomas Hobbes’ Natural Philosophy
, Brill, Leiden-Boston-Köln 2002, 89-97. Of some impor-tance is Dennis Sepper, ‘Imagination, Phantasms, and the Making of Hobbesian and Cartesianscience’,
71:4 (1988), 526-542. For a general account of 17
-century theories of cogni-tive faculties that also discusses Hobbes see Gary Hatfield, ‘The Cognitive Faculties’, in
TheCambridge History of Seventeenth-century Philosophy:
, edited by Daniel Garber andMichael Ayers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1998, 953-1002.