♥Political Ideas and Ideologies Unit-5 What is Political Theory and Why do We Need It

♥Political Ideas and Ideologies Unit-5 What is Political Theory and Why do We Need It

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55 Conceptions of Political Theory UNIT 5 POLITICAL ARGUMENTS AND CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS Structure 5.0 Objectives 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Nature of Arguments in the Classical Tradition 5.3 Positivist Critique of Normative Theory 5.4 Nature of Arguments in the Empirical Tradition 5.5 Decline of Positivism and Interpretive Theory as an Alternative 5.6 Normative Turn in Political Theory 5.7 Nature of Arguments in Foundationalist and Post-Foundationalist Theories 5.8 Conceptual Analysis 5.8.1 Positivist Approach 5.8.2 Interpretive Approach 5.9 Let Us Sum Up 5.10 Some Useful References 5.11 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 5.0 OBJECTIVES This Unit concerns itself with the nature of political arguments and the analysis of concepts. After going through this unit, you should be able to: Discuss the nature of political arguments in the classical and the empirical, Examine the decline of positivism and the emergence of interpretive theory as an alternative, Comment on the nature of arguments in foundationalist and post-foundationalist theories and finally, Discuss the various approaches of conceptual analysis. 5.1 INTRODUCTION The prime objective of this unit is to understand the nature of political arguments and the purpose of conceptual analysis in political theory. We require political arguments and conceptual analysis as building blocks of theorising. About what we argue and how we argue are two crucial considerations that determine the nature of argument. Arguments refer to a set of reasoned propositions for justification of truth-claims. Since we have different traditions of political theory each marked by distinctive substantial and methodological concerns, the nature of political arguments differs across the traditions. As political arguments deal with justification or validation of truth claims, the theory of knowledge of different traditions and its methodology frames the nature of political arguments. Political arguments and conceptual analysis are dialectically related. We form or create concepts on the basis of arguments on the one hand, and on the other, we base our arguments on concepts. Concepts are the terms or the vocabulary with which political discourse is conducted. It frames our inquiry as well as facilitates the discourse about political inquiry. Political arguments arise in and are carried forward through
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56 What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It? concepts. Conceptual analysis, therefore, has two purposes; one, to arrive at as clear a meaning embodied in the concept as possible so as to facilitate unambiguous communication among scholars by ‘disciplining talk’ or obviating ‘loose talk’, and second, to examine and lay bare the contest over the meaning of a concept with a view to provide the complexities of political arguments in question and thus, enrich our understanding of politics. There can be a third purpose of conceptual analysis, namely to alert us against the subtle ways in which concepts can put blinders on our
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♥Political Ideas and Ideologies Unit-5 What is Political Theory and Why do We Need It

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