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POLS 1150 (37)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Summary.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1150
Professor
Carol L Dauda

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1 POLS 1150 Sept 13, 2013 Chapter 2: The Many Ways of Studying Politics • The study of politics is a science and an art- normative and empirical • Politics as Philosophy: o Has roots in moral/ethical philosophy > looks at ends of human life and reaching goals, acts concerning personal vs. group pleasure. o Asks why of answers to above Q’s > the answers shape our society o Aristotle states humans are political animals:  We are part of a community OR  We make intentional decisions, not instinctive ones > governed by politics (rules and regulations), seeking the “good life” o Rules=what to do/not do, debate over them is normative discourse. Likewise when gov’ts make laws, they discuss the “ends” > certain beliefs lead to different types of gov’t o Normative topics/issues (right vs. wrong) embedded within gov’t : liberty, justice, equality, common good etc.  Terms mean diff. things to diff. people, rules of good reasoning & need for getting along help clear the gray areas. • Politics as Social Science o An empirical method in explaining politics, change from normative due to:  Dissatisfaction of how the philosophical approach explained political world  Combined with other natural sciences (phsyc, soc) to explain politics o Controversy: natural science conducts controlled experiments of which they have practical and ethical limits (dealing with human subjects) o Can’t have nationwide experiments therefore Poli Sci is observational and analytic of government processes > observes the data created by the real world (polls/stats etc.). o Very difficult to generalize Poli Sci explanations, very circumstantial > what works in one area at a particular time may not work elsewhere in different circumstances. o When exploring connection btwn 2 things, there are independent and dependant variables – can guess which is which through common sense. BUT  They may both be dependant variables being influenced by a third independent variable OR 2 POLS 1150 Sept 13, 2013  The independent and dependant variables are really switched and not what we first thought they were.  Human life is overdetermined- generalizations of “if this, therefore that” are unlikely.  Therefore, multivariate analysis developed that looks at multiple variables impacting something. o Electoral systems, review of legislation, role of civil servants, implementing public policy > No Debate, either right or wrong. o Behaviouralism focused on individuals and their behaviour towards institutions/political processes > tried to create law like generalizations b
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