POL 3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Peloponnesian War, Falsifiability

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8 Jun 2018
Lecture 2
Introduction to Theories
Theo = statements of relationship between causes and effects
What ae Theoies ad Ho a the help us i Iteatioal Relatios?
Perspective :
hypothesize explanations for events that emphasize different causes; Highlight
different factors that we can use to explain different causes
Tell us where to look for an explanation
Emphasize some causes over others
Something happened because of somethig’
Simplifies events
Focus on certain factors, not all
Example: Falling ball. Why did it fall? (natural sciences example)
Perspective 1: role of gravity
Perspective 2: role of the state of matter
→ “iplified eet; Highlighted the ole of different factors; Neither one is necessarily
wrong, all filled in a piece of the puzzle
We use theories in the social sciences
to eplai the diffeee i the eets e ae tig to desie
- Natural sciences = events involving physical objects
- Social sciences = events involving human behavior
- Moe diffiult eause people do’t alas take atioal atios; ado
Behaviouralism proposes that individuals alone (and in groups) behave according to certain
patterns that we can try to describe,
explain and predict
Political scientists identify these patterns
- Ex. Are there patterns in when states decide to go to war? Why are institutions set
up the way they are?
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