Outline- lecture 2 - Lecture 1: Introduction This lecture...

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Lecture 1: Introduction This lecture introduced students to key concepts related to theoretical thinking in the social sciences: - Definition of a Theory: description, explanation, prediction - Paradigm: A philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated . - Deduction versus Induction - Laws vs. hypotheses - The importance of causal mechanisms (to avoid the dangers of spurious correlation) - Testing a theory and the importance of falsification as a basis for theoretical refinement and progress Note that in explaining these terms a number of examples from later parts of the course were used i.e. Democratic Peace Theory and the Marxist theory of imperialism. Marxism: Actors are class based; the working and inherent contradictions of the capitalist system. Hypothesis: the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer inevitable revolution Problem: revolutions did not occur (the UK, Germany, etc.) At least one hypothesis is wrong. The theory requires some revision. Lenin and Hobson: Marx assumed a closed market (did no take into account capitalists’ ability to find external markets that could absorb their surpluses). Revised theory: Lenin and Hobson’s theory of imperialism.
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This note was uploaded on 07/08/2010 for the course POL 208 taught by Professor Wong during the Fall '08 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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Outline- lecture 2 - Lecture 1: Introduction This lecture...

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