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Unformatted text preview: Power and Principle in Statecraft Six Principles of Political Realism (Hans J. Morgenthau [Aj]). 1. Political Realism governed by laws that have their roots in human nature. careful understanding of these laws. Human nature has not changed one bit since the beginning, hence, novelty is not necessarily a virtue in political theory nor is old age a defect. The era in which a theory originated could potentially mean nothing or imply nothing about its actual worth for e.g. a theory made today may not be believed to be sound whereas the theory made a thousand years ago may be believed to be obsolete. Not true. For Realism, theory is essentially the use and proper understanding of facts through reasoned debate and argument. Theories ought to be be based on prior experience (and therefore proper ideas about probable future experiences may be drawn). What is important here is not just theory in its literal sense, but its application in a more hands-on kind of way. Toying with possibilities as to how certain theories would work in given situations gives the actual worth of a theory. It is the testing of this rational hypothesis against the actual dacts and their consequences that gives theoretical meaning to the facts of international politics. 2. The concept of interest links the understanding of international politics and the facts to be understood. It sets politics apart as a proper ¡eld to be understood. This draws the boundaries around the very ¡eld of international politics thereby given it greater de¡nition so to speak. We study political actors, their past behavior and based on that, sit and determine or predict their future behavior. A realist theory of international politics, then, will guard against two popular fallacies: the concern with motives and...
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2010 for the course POLI 244 taught by Professor Saideman during the Fall '07 term at McGill.
- Fall '07