Class Notes 2010

Class Notes 2010 - POLI 243Kevin Coles Thursday, January 7,...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–5. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
POLI 243Kevin Coles 10/01/2012 12:04:00 Thursday, January 7, 2010 Political science? Hard sciences vs. social sciences o Hard Sciences  Controlled environments Knowledge is objective o Social Sciences Complex environments: hard to determine what the independent  variables are Knowledge is grounded in rules and procedures Perspectives, beliefs, etc makes very subjective Theories are probabilistic  Political sciences vs. political history o Political Science Search for patterns in events When has this happened before Why type of event happens Theories of causality Predictions about the future Very few good models, not very strong Not many decisions made based on predictions o Political History Events are unique
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
What happened Not focused on prediction Terminology o Law: repeatedly observable relationship Hard sciences: if X then (always) Y Social Sciences: if X then (probably) Y Ex: Democracies don’t go to war (exceptions exist, based on  definitions) o Theory:   Explains a relationship if X then Y, because. .. Causal argument Must be falsifiable, testable Textbook treats book as theory, but has problems “There is a communist revolution coming” o Hasn’t happened “Still coming” Not falsifiable because there’s no timetable Theory o Tasks of Theory: Description Describe the cause-effect relationship If Y, then X happened Prediction If X, then Y will happen Prescription
Background image of page 2
How to deal with problems How to achieve/avoid Y Provides normative goals (controversial) Political science looking for scientific objectivity Can’t be subjective while maintaining objectivity Normative for who? Some built in normative/value judgments in theories Ex: war is bad o Theory evaluated in terms of: Accuracy Threshold up for debate Generalizability Theory should apply to / explain multiple cases Parsimony Simplest explanation that explains the most things Evaluations subjective, certain evaluative criteria valued more  than others Paradigms? o A set of assumptions about the world that: Simplify a complex environment to focus on the most important  things Provide an analytical filter/analytical lens Block out “background noise” so we can focus on the  important things Makes assumptions o Theories vs. Paradigms Paradigms larger than theories, theories based on paradigms
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Groupings of theories Theoretical frameworks Worldviews Can’t test assumptions/worldviews Ex: Realism The theories based on paradigms can be tested
Background image of page 4
Image of page 5
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 73

Class Notes 2010 - POLI 243Kevin Coles Thursday, January 7,...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 5. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online