[THIS FILE CONTAINS SCIENCE AND PARADIGM NOTES, PLUS SOME KUHN BOOK
NOTES ON POLITICS, SCIENCE, AND PARADIGMS:
This file of notes began as lecture notes for an introductory course in Third World Politics.
time, they expanded and accreted too much illustrative material to present easily in one lecture, so
I’ve put them in a file for students to read on their own.
These notes are intended to accompany the
assigned excerpt from Thomas S. Kuhn’s
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
FOR AN INTRODUCTORY COURSE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE.
In the first text for that class, Vicky Randall and Robin Theobald, in
Political Change and
Underdevelopment: A Critical Introduction to Third World Politics
(Duke U P, 1985),
as “being about the way that
(understanding resources in their widest
within a human community.”
With the above def of the political, what is the
definition of science
, 5th ed, 1989, by Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, includes the following materials, some
directly quoted, some paraphrased:
, whether biological or other,
is a way of seeking principles of order
Art is another way,
as are religion and philosophy.
Science differs from these others in that it limits its search to the
natural world, the physical universe.
Also, and perhaps more significant, it differs from them in the
central value it gives to observation
(particularly that structured kind of observation called
"Scientists begin their search by
--evidence--and trying to
fit these data into
systems of order, conceptual schemes
that organize the data in some meaningful way." .
in science are not merely the addition of new data but
the perception of
new relationships among the available data
--in other words the development of
political science studies human behavior and decision making
, rather than the
physical world, but that the
search for principles of order
, the reliance on
, and the
conceptual schemes to organize the data
hold true for it, just as with the physical sciences.
And, as R&T show, the
conceptual-theoretical advances involve
d perceptions of new
relationships among available data, i.e.,
new ideas that reinterpret reality
better than the
“The ideas of science are categorized in ascending order of validity as
hypotheses, theories, and
principles or laws
Lower on the scale than the hypothesis is the hunch, or educated guess, which
how most hypotheses begin.
A hunch becomes a hypothesis
--and therefore an idea that can be
NtParadigms, p. 1 [Last edited 12-8-05]