Class Notes (809,509)
Canada (493,754)
POL2104 (56)

POL 2104 C - Intro to Comparative Politics - Emily Regan Wills - 03 Jan. 13.docx

3 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Ottawa
Political Science
Mark Salter

POL 2104 C - Intro to Comparative Politics - Emily Regan Wills - 03 Jan. 13 Critiques of Positivism: Critical & Interpretive Methods To Recap - KKV, coming from the mainstream of quantitative PS, argued that all social science (SS) research can be scientific if it meets some specific guidelines: inference based on empirical data, publicness of methods, and estimates of certainty, among others. - This is an attempt to unify the field of political science & make it subject to to “1 logic,” which helps make PS a more internally consistent field. Mary Hawkesworth Does Not Agree - Published in Interpretation and Method, 2006: the methodology bible for people who identify themselves as interpretivists - Interpretivism: beyond the quant/qual division (& frequently beyond PS as well) - Focuses on the role of meaning in the study of politics & social life: what do human beings mean by certain political actions & practices? - She is not interested the method used (qualitative/quantitative). - As a result, it’s quite difficult to describe meaning in numbers quantitatively. - How do these meanings vary? What is the role of these meanings in the working of politics? - She lays out 3 categories of philosophical thought, and identifies with the last one while critiquing the first 2. Positivism - Verification of criterion of meaning: “a contingent proposition is meaningful if & if it can be empirically verified” (30). - Science means discovering regularities in the empirical world to confirm facts and make laws. - Firm division between the empirical & the normative. - Between what is and what should be - Unity of science. - In other words, KKV. - Ex: If people like democracy, according to positivist theory, we should be able to come up with laws that if we follow, we should have the perfect democracy. - Her criticism: It assumes we can know too much when the world is too big, too complex. Critical Rationalism - Karl Popper as leading thinker; frequently assumed to be identical to positivism, & most positivists are in fact Popperian critical rationalists - Main idea: You can never confirm. You can only disconfirm. Key point: falsification. - Second key point: testability. (Remember KKV’s “observable implications.”) - To Popper, a negative result, meaning some claim to knowledge was falsified, is a result. If you get a positive r
More Less

Related notes for POL2104

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.