S Senate and the American public by President Bush which aimed to conceal the

S senate and the american public by president bush

This preview shows page 144 - 146 out of 234 pages.

a cynical and self-serving deception perpetrated on the U.S. Senate and the American public by President Bush, which aimed to conceal the true relative degrees of threat of different countries in order to push ahead the invasion of Iraq for political gain. On this interpretation, President Bush and his top advisors would be seen as desiring war in 2003 to get reelected in 2004; since war with North Korea was virtually impossible, Iraq would be the best target. The Bush advisers might have calculated that the American public would never support a Reflectivist Opposition to the Scientific Approach 133
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war against Iraq if it knew that North Korea is in fact building nuclear weapons and, in contrast, Iraq is almost certainly not. At most it might have chemical or possibly biological weapons. The deception, these scholars might say, was so that the public would continue to insist that Iraq posed a greater threat to the United States than any other state. Was the decision to hide North Korea’s announce- ment an act of courage or a cynical manipulation of public opinion to aid reelec- tion? Some say Bush was advancing U.S. national interest. Others say Bush deceived the United States for his own gain. Which act was performed? Whether we interpret President Bush’s act as one of wisdom and courage to advance U.S. national security or as one of self-advancement and manipulation of the electorate to enhance his chances of reelection depends upon what we observe President Bush to have done in earlier cases—and later cases, as time passes. Of course, each of these other acts may be interpreted in more than one way. But there are some possible interpretations that are highly implausible. For example, neither the action of person A with the knife nor that of President Bush in 2002 can plausibly be interpreted as an attempt at a musical recital. We will consider this circularity next. At this point we can see that reflectivist theorists who take the interpretive approach would reject any attempt to draw a parallel in the social sciences with the natural sciences on at least several of the standard features. One would be NS1 from Table 3.1 stating that the senses provide a solid basis for identifying facts. Interpretivists hold that facts are identified by constructed interpretations and there might be many good interpretations. Interpretivists would also reject NS2 and NS3 in the social sciences, since the lack of clear, uninterpreted facts would make it impossible to identify regularities among the facts and to quantify the regularities. The claim that there are no uninterpreted facts in the social sci- ences would also undercut the argument for applying NS6 to the social sciences. If there are no truly “observational terms” then there can be no clear distinction between observational and theoretical terms.
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