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Power and politics week two notes

by: gat

Power and politics week two notes Pol 1001

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Power and politics terms, methods
Power and politics
Stephen Mockabee
Class Notes
Politics, methods
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by gat on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pol 1001 at The University of Cincinnati taught by Stephen Mockabee in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.


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Date Created: 09/18/16
Power and Politics Notes Preliminary Considerations (8/25 Lecture) Some big questions: • What can we know about the world? How can we know it? • How confident can we be about what we think we know? • What is the best method to generate knowledge? Science? • Can politics be studied scientifically? • What is politics? • What is political science? What is Politics?: • origin is Greek work polis, referring to city­states  • two prominent definitions • Harold Lasswell: Who gets what, when and how.  • David Easton: The authoritative allocation of values for a  society. • What do the two definitions have in common? • Distribution • Power Science: • view as a method for conducting research • scientific research definition: systematic process of gathering and  integrating knowledge through observation and logical reasoning Terminology: • ontology: beliefs about the nature of reality • epistemology: beliefs about human’s ability to know about reality • empirical: can be observed through out senses; observable • normative: involves value of judgment; what is normal • induction: process of drawing generalizations from several specific  observations. Induction generalizes from what we observe to what we  can’t observe. Conclusions are tentative pending further observation • deduction: process of inferring conclusions about specific cases from  general principles. Deduction moves from fixed, assumed, or given  information to draw inferences about particular phenomena.  Conclusions must be correct if premises are true and argument is  formulated logically Think 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 • ­ sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs within the groups  to which I belong are true, even though I have never questioned the  basis for the beliefs • wish fulfillment: I believe in accounts of reality that put me in a  favorable light, even though I have not seriously considered the  evidence for the more negative account • similar to what psychologists call “motivated reasoning” to  reduce “cognitive dissonance” • ostrich fallacy: to “bury head in the sand” and ignore evidence  because it is unpleasant • ad hominem: attacking the person rather than their argument  • ­ ad ignorantium: arguing that a claim is true just because it has not  been shown to be false • affirming the consequent: a deductive fallacy of the form: 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.  • Denying the antecedent: a deductive fallacy of the form: If p then q.  not­p. therefore not­q • Example: if the roads are icy, the mail is late. The roads are not  icy. Therefore the mail is not late.  • False dilemma: reducing the options you consider to just two, in a  way that unfairly excludes other possibilities  • Begging the question: implicitly using your conclusion as a premise • Red herring: introducing an unrelated topic to divert attention from  the main subject • Straw man: caricaturing an opposing view so that it is easy to attack


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