PMT notes

PMT notes - Power, Money and Trade M. Brawley We want to...

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Power, Money and Trade M. Brawley - We want to understand the world in terms of causal patterns. As patterns of activity. o By understanding the patterns that lead to past/current events, we can help predict and alter our future course. Obviously, its not perfectly accurate or entirely feasible but because we can’t do it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. - First we often use theories of models to simplify things. o A good political scientist stresses a sense of humilty and awe in theory construction, recgonziign the limits of their knowledge and the limited range of probability statistics. - Theories begin with assumptions o Need for simplicity/reduce complexcitiy o Assumptions shape the qualities of each theory Assume to be true because we know its not always true. - Difference between law, theories and variable. o Variables: Term used in the construction of theories which can refer to the forces aor factors of both cause and effect. Independent: Causal factor of theory Dependent: Dependent on indp. o In political economy, we are concerned with the actions of the state or othe actors. o Law: Connections seen with such strength and number can can safely expect these relations to continue in the future. o Theory: Speculattive process for obersering the relations between two variables. Causality Probability - Qualities of theories o Accuracy: Probability of the theory will be correct.
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Ceteris Paribus: “All things being equal.” Rarely ever truly exists. o Generalizaility: How widely can this theory be applied? o Parsimony: How simple or neat is the theory? Okam’s razor! Leverage: The ability to explain as much as possible with as little pas possible. o Falsifiability: Ability to test a theory and make explicit ground for rejecting the theory. o The trickiest part is balancing of these properties: Some are too narrow, some are too general and not accurate. - Tasks of Theory o Theories can predict, describe current situations, prescriee policie, offer a normative goal Communist manifesto: Describes historical development, predicts capitalism will lead to social problems, prescribes the cure through social revolution and delivers a normative idea – the communist utopia. o
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2011 for the course POLI 243 taught by Professor Markbrawley during the Spring '09 term at McGill.

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PMT notes - Power, Money and Trade M. Brawley We want to...

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