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Unformatted text preview: Poli 311 : Empirical Methods Topic 3 : theories What is a theory ? Five criteria for evaluation competing theories Three functions of theories Inductive versus deductive model of theory building What is a theory ? Theories : sets of logically related symbols that we represent what we think happens in the world. Theories are not true or false ! a theory is more or less useful . It cannot be absolutely false or absolutely true. Theories are composed by concepts and these concepts are related in the theory by propositions. Theories : tie concepts together by stating relationships between them consist of a set of propositions that are logically related explain political phenomena Two types of theory : empirical theory : more political scientists deal with empirical theory , with some normative applications normative theory : a theory about the world that ought to be Assumption : describes the condition under which we expect the tentative explanation that have...
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- Fall '10