sexta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2006

What Empiricism Can't Tell Us, and Rationalism Can

"(...) The previous section of this paper attempted to demonstrate some of the inherent inner contradictions of the empiricist epistemological position in political science in all its various modern manifestations.

It was argued that

(1) it is impossible to determine solely on empirical grounds whether or not empirically-derived propositions are "true" or whether they are instantiations of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, and

(2) that, as Johnson has argued, it is logically impossible to formulate a denial of the existence of synthetic a priori propositions that is not in itself a synthetic a priori proposition.

What implications does this have for the idea of progress in political science?

In the first place, recognition of the fact that synthetic a priori propositions do indeed exist should spur the political scientist to go out and find some of them! What possible reason could there be for a political scientist to remain in the necessarily hypothetical realm of empirical research if there is a method through which we can acquire necessary knowledge about human action?"

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