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Political Science by Phineas Nicklebanks - Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:37:19 EST ID:vmu9ElA5 No.208397 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Any Political Science majors?
Why is there so much theory in the course? Does it have any relevance in real life, or is it just academics being academics?
Edwin Nandernen - Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:20:53 EST ID:UIYk/9cB No.208398 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Not a polisci major, but a philosophy major acquainted with political philosophical literature like The Republic, Marx, Rousseau, etc.

There is a lot of theory because we don't really know how to live or secure a good life (whether this is on an individual or social basis), which is the presumed goal of political thought.

Sure, political academic can get pretty abstract and esoteric and you might think that it's just academics circlejerking, but the hope is that the production of knowledge would entail a possibility of greater human freedom.
Phineas Clayfuck - Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:06:02 EST ID:Zz8TWrGk No.208399 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Political philosophy isn't really my area. I'm doing comparative analysis and research on international relations. I just think that the theory makes the studies very restricted as you always have to confirm or discard a theory instead of just looking at the available data.
Dr. M !gWLn19/oKs - Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:54:41 EST ID:mXz0pukj No.208414 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Yes, my undergrad was PoliSci.

You need the theory to genuinely understand political concepts.

No disrespect, but clearly you're the quantitative type. That's great and all, but what knowledge base will you draw on that's not a machine?

Understanding the theories and concepts about why things are structured and occur the way they do help with intuitive thought process and making estimated guesses.

The vast knowledge accumulated from, say, Poli Sci (we take IR as well)+History minor+ Religious studies minor is amazing. You really understand how politics works from a ridiculous amount of perspectives and vantage points.

But I'm a bias academic so. The way I see it is, if you took my approach + maintained the quantitative, you're somebody who actually understands them, yet is able to transform that into quantitative data and legitimize Political Science as a "science".
Edwin Gacklewell - Tue, 05 Sep 2017 21:19:32 EST ID:cmOR3FR3 No.208417 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I knew two guys with polisci degrees. One got a really good D.C. Job with the republicans then his mental illness made him just check out and his parents basically pay for him to be a homebody.

The other guy worked a low level job at google until some think tank hired him.

So the "usefulness" of the degree,like many others, is determined by how well you network.
Phineas Winkindale - Sun, 24 Sep 2017 02:21:57 EST ID:XypP1lD0 No.208436 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Ehh I am inclined to disagree with that. I'm not sure what you mean by studies, but I'm taking it to mean political studies? Theory as done in modern academic settings does move. pretty slowly due to what you mentioned, but I'm not sure how it would restrict anything.

Like a lot of ideas established in the US Constitution owe a lot to the works of John Locke. I don't think it would be restrictive to read his theories. For a more modern and influential political scientist, John Rawls' A Theory of Justice was inspired by Hume's skepticism and Kant's deonotlogical ethics.

As far as data goes, I'm finding it hard to understand why you think that an interpretation of data is distinct from theory. Isn't theory just another way of saying interpretation?

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