ps notes - I II III IV What is Politics a many...

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I. What is Politics? a. many definitions—wide variety b. politics definition is influenced by conceptual frames—different perceptions and experiences of the past which color expectations for the future c. Features: goal-oriented actions with public consequences (inaction too) d. Positive Approach: (value—neutral neither good nor bad) e. Non-static, always changing, expanding II. What is Political Science? a. also has many definitions b. “Science” b.i. Aristotle : “science of politics,” meaning how to organize a state to maximize happiness b.i.1. Normative not “scientific” c. Scientific Method? c.i. cannot experiment on individuals, societies, or re-run history c.ii. must approximate because you cannot change history d. Different methodologies to discern cause-effect relationships d.i. Quantitative —statistical approaches d.i.1. rigorous, “scientific” d.i.2. over emphasizes countable things like votes, guns, money, etc. d.i.3. how to quantify values? legitimacy? trust? fear? justice? d.ii. Qualitative —comparative, interpretive, process-tracing, “thick description” d.ii.1. Deeper understanding, but not necessarily better at explanation e. Is it really possible to have “science” in political science? III. Process Tracing a. American Strengths: a.i. Resilient US economy a.ii. largest military in the world a.iii. Inclusive American culture a.iv. US universities lead innovation a.v. “First draft picks” of the world Immigration keeps US strong b. Obama read Zakaria’s book and used info for campaign speeches c. Differentiate Between c.i. Experiential reality : what we experience directly c.ii. agreement reality : what we believe d. Science—rules and processes used to generate agreement reality IV. PS is the effort to better understand politics by conducting research openly, utilizing methods that will convince others to accept the results as accurate a. recognize limitations—bias, etc.
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Political Theories and Ideologies I. Political Theory —aka political philosophy a. important subfield of PS b. study of the fundamental questions of governance II. Distinction a. Political Theory: aim—development of knowledge b. Political Ideology: aim—directing goal-oriented action c. *They can overlap III. Many theorists (like Hobbes, Arendt, etc.) wrote during times of tumult and change, they called into question the basic elements of governance IV. Socrates (469-399 BC) a. never wrote anything, but is the father of modern philosophy b. Dialectic “Socratic method” b.i. pose hypotheses to be tested b.ii. foundation of modern scientific methods c. “Gadfly” of Athenian Democracy d. He was opposed to democracy d.i. because he was opposed to “might makes it right” e. Objected to any government that was not an ideal republic led by philosophers f. Paradox of knowledge story with oracle g. sentenced to death for corrupting the minds of the youth V. Plato (427-347 BC) a. pupil of Socrates, chronicler b. The Republic
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course POSI 1310 taught by Professor Arnold during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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ps notes - I II III IV What is Politics a many...

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