POLSCI 2NN3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Antipositivism, Verstehen, Nomothetic
Start by recognizing the difference between natural and social objects. The techniques used to study the one, are not necessarily appropriate for studying the other. The natural and social worlds are not analogous. What is the nature of social reality (ontology): It does not pre-exist our norms, beliefs, culture it is a product of them. While there are times when human behavior may appear to be patterned and regular, this is not a re ection of any underlying and preexisting social law. The patterns are the result of social conventions that can change over time as a result of conscious human action. This means that our studies and conclusions must be tentative. What can we know about social reality (epistemology): All observations are embedded in systems of meaning. If observations re ect social convention and the position of the knower rather than an external world: we cannot separate the facts from our values.