Very little of what Hobbes actually does in civil philosophy conforms to the pattern of decomposing things in thought and putting them back together again. Instead, things as experienced are dissolved in thought, and something new is constituted out of the residue of dissolution, something not as yet experienced, namely an ideal distribution of rights and duties. There is a tension here. H o w can Hobbes follow one method in civil philosophy, a method of dissolution and innovation, and yet advertise another method as the method of philosophy in general? For the fact remains that in chapter 6 of De Corpore he seems to identify philosophical method with that of decomposition and reconstruction. Again, the opening chapter of De Corpore co-ordinates the two chief parts of philosophy by saying that both are concerned with the generation and properties of bodies. Taking the remarks in the two chapters together, it is reasonable to expect both chief 'parts ' of philosophy to

study the generations and properties by the method sketched in chapter 6 of De Corp ore.