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Power and politics week 1-2 notes

by: Joshua Weintraub

Power and politics week 1-2 notes Pol 1001

Marketplace > The University of Cincinnati > Political Science > Pol 1001 > Power and politics week 1 2 notes
Joshua Weintraub
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Power and politics week 1-2 notes
Power and politics
Stephen Mockabee
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This 7 page Bundle was uploaded by Joshua Weintraub on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Pol 1001 at The University of Cincinnati taught by Stephen Mockabee in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Power and politics in Political Science at The University of Cincinnati.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
Power and Politics Week 2­3 in class Notes:  Josh Weintraub 9/16/16  Independent variable =Causal variable (cause)   Dependent variable= effect   Can human action be explained using the scientific approach used by the natural sciences?   If answer is YES why are our explanations of human action so much less precise than those from natural sciences   If No then what is the right way?   Much of the discussion about the feasibility of a scientific approach to social phenomena centers  on the distinction between values and facts       Involves both ontological as well as epistemological issues   Oncology=what is out there?   Epistemology= how can we know what’s out there  Two opposing ontological positions   “hard” v. “soft” Science:  o  Foundationalist= reality exists independent of our knowledge of it  objective order to nature   o Anti­foundationalist= reality is socially constructed  Opposing epistemological positions:  Scientific approach  Interpretive (Hermeneutic) approach  Scientific Approach+ Foundationalist   Hermeneutic+ Anti­foundationalist  Three Methodological Approaches:      Positivism   foundationalist ontology and scientific epistemology  used the most        Interpretism  anti­foundationalist ontology Hermeneutic= the theory and methodology of  interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and   philosophical texts   also discourse analysis  dig deep into what people are saying and   interpret meaning that is revealed  deep understanding and interpretation of scientific   methods and research and data   qualitative approach   larger forces in world  power   disparity  this will happen with capitalism       Realism (Marxism)   foundationalist ontology, but not a scientific epistemology   reality   separate from our own   greater knowledge   nature of reality   materialists   class struggle    power relationships in society   workers exploited   people who produce run country    workers become enlightened and revolt  different approach to understanding these other   realities   there are hidden structures that need to be revealed  combination of both  epistemology and ontology  Critiques of Positivism:  Quine shows that the observation/theory distinction breaks down because choices about what to  observe, how to report the observations, and how to observe, how to report the observations, and  how to judge the effect of the observations on our theories are inherently theory­laden discussions  The distinction between facts and values breaks down, because all attempts to speak about  observed “facts” are value­laden actions speech is action, values precede action   If it is impossible to separate facts from values, then it is impossible to have a value­free science  goals of positivists is unobtainable   Another criticism points out that science does not actually proceed in the way that positivists  imagined linear slope of progress over time science builds on itself this may not be the way  the world works    Kuhn’s notion of a   “Paradigm”   dominant approach to inquiry; a worldview or set of norms that govern conduct of inquiry    Thomas Kuhn   wrote book  “structure of scientific revolutions”  Kuhn’s Model of the Development of Scientific Knowledge:  Pre­Science    Normal Science    Anomalies    Scientific Revolution    Normal Science                      No clear |One dominant Paradigm | Dominant Paradigm| Old Paradigm | One dominant paradigm  Paradigm fails to explain           is replaced by Anomalies        new Paradigm  Political and social structures to science exist  Karl Popper: Criterion of Falsification:  Shared the positivists view that science was superior to other means of knowing, but criticized the  positivists verification principle, arguing instead that the criterion for scientific status should be   falsification  important features of a good explanation    It is easy to obtain confirmations or verifications for nearly every theory.  Instead scientists should look for information that would refute their theories best theories make “risky” predictions  open to being falsified   A theory that cannot be falsified is not scientific   Irrefutability of a theory is a Vice NOT a virtue   Some testable theories, when found to be false are upheld by their admirers by introducing Ad  Hoc assumptions reinterpreting theory so that it can escape refutation  Joshua Weintraub  Power and Politics Notes week 1­5  Week 1  6/23/16:   Class is about exposing us to political science   Understanding how political scientists think about the world and how to ask/answer questions   Think about how we know what we know­how can we be confident that what we know about  things are accurate   Need to know the methods of political scientists use to conduct research   Philosophical assumptions that underlie political science  Harry potter and the millennials: research methods and the politics of the muggle generation­ book needed by week 6  Underlying foundations of political research   Thinking critically and thinking as a social scientist   What science as a methodology   Alternative approaches of the scientific method in terms of studying political science   Design and logic behind what researchers are doing  6/25/16:  Politics­word is Greek origins­ Polis,   Polis­ referred to a city­state  Two prominent definitions of politics:  1 .      Who gets what, when and how­Harold Lasswell   2 .      The authoritative allocation of values for a society­ David Easton  Distribution of resources, power two terms that these definitions have in common­ core of  what we look at when we study politics   Scientific research­ is a systematic process of gathering and integrating knowledge through  observation and logical reasoning  Science is not random­it is systematic, meant to be orderly and not chaotic   Scientists try to gather new information and integrate it into what has already been discovered  Scientists don’t work in isolation­ it is a community process to build up an integrated collection  of information that is commonly understood by professionals in the scientific field through a  published book or article   Everything done in science is done through observation­ data that we collect is observable, other  senses can be used as well  Scientific method incorporates different form of logic   Ontology­ Beliefs about the nature of reality.  What is out there to be known?  What exists   describes the possibilities of what exists/ different possibilities about reality “Is there a God?”­  Not answered well by science what is out there to be found?  What is the nature of the world?  Is there an absolute truth that exists?  Is there such thing as irrefutable truth   Epistemology­  Beliefs about humans’ ability to know about reality.  How can we know what it  out there?  Can we trust our observations about the world?  How do we know that what we see  is reality or really there?  How to figure out more about the world, what methods?  Empirical­ Can be known through our senses; something that is observable, question can be  answered through observation; what is  what percent of Ohio voters support Donald Trump?  Normative­ Involves value judgments; what is normal, desirable; what ought to be  Does my  vote matter? Should I even vote? Who should I vote for? Who should be allowed to vote?    Political   science combines   empirical and normative  elements­ makes political science hard to do compelling systematic research    Induction­  Inductive reasoning is the process  of drawing generalizations from several specific  observations.  Induction generalizes from what we observe to what we can’t observe.  It is a  “bottom­up” process of reasoning.     Conclusions are tentative pending further observations –always some level of uncertainty­  sampling error   new observations can come along that are different       Deduction­   Deductive reasoning is the process   of inferring  conclusions about specific cases from  general principles.  Deduction moves from fixed, assumed, or given information (premises) to  draw inferences about particular phenomena.  It is a “top­down” process of reasoning.  Conclusions must be correct if premises are true and formulated properly       Scientific method employees both of these   Thinking like a political scientist: Avoid self­centered, uncritical thinking   Egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is correct, even though I have never questioned my  beliefs.  “It’s true because I believe it.”   Sociocentrism: I assume I assume that the dominant beliefs within the groups to which I belong  are true, even though I have never questioned the basis for many of the. b“It’s true  because we believe it”      Wish fulfillment­ I believe in accounts of reality that put me (or the groups in which I belong) in  a favorable light, even though I have not seriously considered the evidence for the more negative  account.  “It’s true because I want to believe it”   Similar to what psychologists call “motivated reasoning” to reduce “cognitive dissonance “       Ostrich Fallacy­  I refuse to accept an alternative account that has unpleasant implications, even   though the preponderance of the evidence points in that direction.  I  “bury my head in the sand”   and ignore the evidence because I don’t like where it leads.    “It’s true because the alternative is  so unpleasant.”      Ad Hominem: attacking the other person rather than his/her argument or information   Ad Ignorantium (Appeal to Ignorance):  arguing that a claim is true just because it has not be  proven to be false.  :  Senator Joseph McCarthy  “I do not have much information on this  except the general statement of the agency that there is nothing in the files to disprove his  Communist connections.”  Affirming the consequent:  If P then Q  Q Therefore P  •        Example:   If the roads are icy, the mail is late. The mail is late. Therefore the roads are icy.  •         Problem: Even if the premises are true, the argument   overlooks alternative explanations .  The mail may be late for other reasons.   •         Denying the antecedent :  a deductive fallacy of the form:  If   p   then  q Not­q  Therefore  not­p  •        Example:   If the roads are icy, the mail is late. The roads are not icy. Therefore the mail is not late.  •         Problem: Even if the premises are true, the argument   overlooks alternative explanations .  The mail may be late for other reasons.       False Dilemma­  reducing the options you consider to just two, in a way that unfairly excludes   other possibilities   to have sufficient funds to increase spending on the war, the government must decrease spending on social welfare programs.        Begging the question :  implicitly using your conclusion as a premise.     Example:  God exists because it says so in the Bible, which is true because God wrote it.       Red herring :  introducing an irrelevant or secondary subject to divert attention from the main  subject.     Example: In a discussion of the relative safety of cars, the issue of whether the cars are  manufactured domestically or imported is a red herring.       Straw man :  caricaturing an opposing or prevailing view so that it is easy to attack.  Week 2 notes:  8/30/16:     Scientific Research= is a systematic process of gathering and integrating knowledge  through observation and logical reasoning:  1 .      Empirical   2 .      Primarily quantitative   3 .      Follows agreed upon methods   4 .      Results are open to scrutiny       Science involves both  Inductive and Deductive logic: 1. Use induction to transfer observations into assumptions  2. Use deduction to derive predictions  3. Test predictions against new observations 4. Revise our assumptions  Assumptions of Science:   Nature is orderly Ontology  We can know nature   All natural phenomena have natural causes Ontology naturalism or materialism   Nothing is self­evident Ontology   Knowledge is based on experience Empirical   Knowledge is superior to ignorance Normative  Goals of Science:   Explanation  desire for general “covering” laws  Generalizability of a conclusion is important; conclusions should be broadly applicable   Prediction  use general principles to predict future events   World viewed in terms of probabilistic form of cause and effect    Understanding  logical positivism (logical empiricism) “hard science” approach  Body of verifiable (positive) knowledge generated by observing and speaking correctly  about the world goal  Statements can be analytic, synthetic, or nonsense  Math related is analytical along with deductive logic  Synthetic statements can be verified empirically critical in explaining science  Distinctions between facts and values, observational/theoretical  Science should be value free Alternative views of understanding:   The Verstehen (empathetic approach) interpretive approach   Subject matter of social sciences is fundamentally different of natural science   Human societies and individual behavior are too complex and varied to use a rigid  approach   Need to develop empathy with subjects in order to get inside and interpret social and  individual behavior to generate deep understanding   Science cannot be value free Critical theory approach:   Agree with Verstehen   Advocates ideological positions   Reality is socially constructed, through unseen social structures and power relationships   Need to deconstruct existing texts to reveal hidden structures   Purpose of social science is to bring about progressive political change  Methods of Science:   Scientific method is a cyclical progression of reasoning  Conclusions are always Tentative  Scientific approach involves systematic quantification of observations=Measurements: 1. Conceptual definitions  2. Operational definitions  3. Measurement of variables  Measurement of Variables:   Measurement= process of assigning numbers to represent properties of real world  phenomena   A Variable= an empirical measure of a characteristic that can take on ore than one  value    The result of the measurement process is that we have a   value  to associate with a   variable   for a given   case.   25 years is a value for variable age; $50,000 is a value for the  variable income  Benefits of Methodology:   Rules for communication   Rules for reasoning  Rules for inter­subjectivity scientists evaluate the work of others to verify the results   Rules for ethical conduct  


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