This looks to examine how the relationship between obligation and reasons should be understood, on the assumption that normativity should be understood in terms of reasons. Though the analysis of obligation in terms of exclusionary reasons given by Joseph Raz fails as a reductive definition of duty in terms of reasons, it provides a significant suggestion. I argue that Raz's analysis can be modified by distinguishing between normativity and the framework of justification; and by doing this we can gain an outline of a non-reductive explanation of the concept of duty.
Thomas Hobbes employs the counsel/command theory to argue that clergies are to be subordinate to the sovereign. He shows that bishops are counsellors and the word of the Bible is counsel. The theory of counsel functions as the denial of bishops' right to interpret the Bible and their power of excommunication. While Hobbes in De Cive admits some room for ordained bishops to influence the church governance, he in Leviathan totally denies their iure divino authority. He uses this reasoning to criticise not only Catholicism but also Anglican Episcopacy and Presbyterianism, which shows that he is free from any existing sects.
Hearn (1970) notes that what Hume calls ‘general rules’ should be distinguished into two types. The first one are the eight rules Hume mentions in Treatise 1.3.15 as normative; the second one are the mere natural inclinations of our imagination. Following Hearn, many scholars try to extract from the writings the distinguishable criterion of ‘good’ rules. On the contrary, I try to understand the common feature, or the origin, of apparently different types of general rules. My interpretation will offer a naturalistic explanation of epistemic normativity of Hume's general rules.