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CLASS #1: COURSE INTRODUCTION I. INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS A. Politics – a dictionary definition 1. the art or science of government 2. political actions, practices, or policies 3. political affairs or business 4. The total complex of B. Basic Ingredients 1. There are people who make choices 2. There are situations within which they make their choices 3. We will assume that there are two basic choices a) Cooperate b) Defect 4. Generally speaking politics involves the quest for cooperation 5. Why would people defect a) Flaw in human nature b) Flaw in the choice situation 6. Some choices create a dilemma when there is an incentive to defect without there being a flaw in human nature a) Incentive to defect when the other person cooperates b) Incentive to defect when the other person defects II. Background Issues and Concepts A. Causality 1. What is causality? Cause = something that brings about an effect or a result 2. Assumptions concerning causality a. b. All natural phenomena c. We are able to B. Understanding Complexity: Herbert A. Simon 1. World is made up 2. World is a system (set of components and interactions) 3. Complexity is woven out of simplicity – HENCE REDUCIBLE TO SMALLER PARTS 4. Weaving takes place through evolution Natural selection C. Cckham's Razor 1
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1. principle proposed by William of Ockham in the fourteenth century: ``Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'', which translates as ``entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily''. 2. In many cases this is interpreted as ``keep it simple'' – BASED
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course PLS 200 taught by Professor Idk during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.

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