Lecture 2_PS121

Lecture 2_PS121 - PS 121 Lecture 2 What Is Theory...

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PS 121 Lecture 2- 4/1/09 What Is Theory? International Relations: o IR is a subfield of political science o Political Science is a social science o The goal in science is to discover objective laws and make inferences and  judgments about the world around us o Science is our aspiration o Is “political science” a science?- want to import the scientific method into politics  to create discipline Definitions of Theory o The analysis of a set of facts in their reaction to one another o A principle or body of principles offered to explain cause and effect Example: the term “Genocide” There are lots of different ideas of what theory does and is o *Waltz: Laws vs. Theories People get confused on the difference between laws and theories In order for there to be theories we must have laws- theories explain and  describe laws- when (a) happens (b) happens o Waltz 4 Functions of Theory Description Explanation  (  causes  b )
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Prediction  ( future forecasting - if  happens  will) - Rauchhaus uses  word forecasting not prediction. Prescription  (a theory that says how people should or ought behave- normative theory) Rauchhaus disagrees Evaluating Theory Evaluating Theory o Waltz (Levels of Analysis, Neo-Realism, Nuclear Deterrence, Brought science to 
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Lecture 2_PS121 - PS 121 Lecture 2 What Is Theory...

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