Masters Thesis

The philosophical origins of systems analysis in political science: an introduction.

Political science needs to reexamine the basic assumptions behind the scientific revolution of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. For it is these assumptions which still structure our expectations about what counts as fact, reality, and observation. It is the seventeenth century that has provided the philosophical foundation particularly of the present paradigm of empirical analysis. This paradigm persists in turn of the vocabulary of political theory as it is today. The purpose of the following pages is to examine the nature origins and implications of the distinction between "empirical" and "normative" theory in political science. The following inquiry, therefore, is intended as a summary contribution toward a much needed reintegration of the whole theoretical enterprise in this discipline.

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