Formal Models in Political Science. Symbols, Proofs, Models, and Theories. I. Models and Theories. Focus: Empirical, Normative, or Both?
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Symbols, Proofs, Models, and Theories
Max Weber: Distinction between fact and value. While we cannot escape our values, we can study the empirical world “scientifically” within those value systems. (Research best means for accomplishing the end). Others disagree, but the distinction endures in science.
“The essence of theorizing is that you start with an observation, and then imagine the observation as the outcome of a (hidden) process.”
Contains the following elements (from Morgan):
A. Ancient Science
Example: use math to estimate positions of the planets, not to describe their “real” motion. Justification = many models describe identical data (apparent motion of planets)
Gödel ended the idea of building a complete deductive guide to the world (incomplete ones are still possible).
Will always get fed at 9 AM
Christmas at 9 AM
Fed at 9 AM everyday
for the past few months
Empirical observation and attempts at confirmation don’t separate science and pseudo-science. Why not?
In a system of 50 countries, there are 562,949,953,421,312 possible alliance networks that meet these criteria. BUT…
In a system of 50 countries, there are 562,949,953,421,312 possible alliance networks that meet these criteria. BUT… ALL OF THEM are BIPOLAR (the world is divided into two and only two groups)! Well, one exception: everyone can be friends.
Go through the handout and keep it handy when you read.