The Science of Political Science.ppt

Report
The “Science” of Political Science
How do we come to know the things we know?
How do we go about increasing our knowledge
and decreasing our ignorance?
The Three
Epistemologies:
•fideism: by “faith”
•rationalism: by mental
reflection
•empiricism: by
sensory perception and
experience
The Scientific Method
• the “question”
• data gathering
• summarzing the data
• explaining the data
• testing the explanation
THE RATIONAL/EMPIRICAL APPROACH
Explaining
Relationships:
• What is a variable?
- Dependent variables
- Independent variables
• Measuring variables
- Nominal
- Ordinal
- Interval
- Ratio
Models and Theories:
• What is a model?
- Description
- Simplification
• What makes a “good” theory?
- Explanation
- Prediction
- Generalization
- Parsimony
- Ceteris paribus assumption
• Correlation versus causation
• Positive vs. normative theories

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