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#32540 - 12/04/09 07:53 PM Re: Is Poltics a Science? (Essay) [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Room 101 Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Scotland
I feel like the fat kid at the party in the sense that have arrived at the same point that everyone else has...all be it later.

In this instance, rather than the fact that “I am fat” being the general consensus, I would have to say that I agree with the comments regarding politics being a sort'a-science.

Before everyone gets aggravated/jubilant at my agreement, I would say that I only agree to a certain extent.

Politics is a pseudoscience. It has many of the factors that would define it as a true science, but lacks any of the factual definition that would define it as a science in my mind.

This comment is in agreement to MawhrinSkel comments regarding psychology. While I can see the parallel regarding science and psychology, I would draw a line in the comparison.

My definition of a science is “proven fact”. Psychology is neither here nor there, and I defy you to argue to the country.

The closest scientific field corresponding to politic is psychology, which is in its self regarded as a “soft science”. Ergo, politics is a soft science or less.

Bear in mind, that this is an interpretive issue, if you disagree...then feel free to do so.

The point is, FACTS, have little place here as nothing is definitive.
_________________________
"Nothing is your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull." - George Orwell (1984)

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#32583 - 12/06/09 12:30 PM Re: Is Poltics a Science? (Essay) [Re: Room 101]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Hmm...thinking while typing here, so this may turn out a bit sloppy. I'll try to fix it as I go.

Science itself isn't ever really "proven fact" (...and no, I'm not just trying to be a dick or argumentative). We're discovering new things that change the definition of past "facts" at a pretty steady pace, and even some of the things that have been pretty much relegated to "fact" are still just very, very, very sound theories.

Drawing a parallel from a "hard" science to politics (actually, this is kind of a cross between politics of law, but the effects are the same) via the Scientific method (from Wikipedia, because I haven't seen the actual "list" form of the scientific method since the fifth grade or so)...

Keep in mind this is mostly just a made up, somewhat silly example...

1. Define the question.
At what temperature does water boil?
What should the punishment for rape be?

2. Gather information
My cookbook says 100 degrees Celsius!
This old holy book says castration!

3. For hypothesis
100 degrees Celsius it is!
Castration sounds like it would be fun!

4. Perform experiment and collect data.
Well, I boiled water several times, at several elevations. And sure enough, it boiled at 100 degrees Celsius exactly! Oddly enough though, when I pressurized the water, it boiled at a higher temperature...

(The following sentence is made up!) Well, historically, castration has served as a deterrent to keep people from raping again (for obvious reason), but doesn't keep them from committing other violent crimes, or act as a good deterrent to others. In a society that punished rapists with death, however, the number of rape cases went down. Let's try that!
(After five years of punishing rapists with the death penalty in one city/state/province, and punishing with castration in another city/state/province) Rape has gone down quite a bit in the death penalty state, but not so much in the castration state.

5. Analyze data
At sea level with 1 atm, water boils at 100 Celsius. Increase the pressure, water boils at a higher temperature. Decrease the pressure, water boils at a lower temperature.

Death has better results as a punishment for rape than castration does

6. Interperet data
...(tedious process that involvs the creation of a formula for boiling water using temperature and pressure)
...OK, I think I might have done five and six at once for this one.

7. Publish results
I published my water boiling formula dependant on pressure and temperature in a scientific journal!
I published my death to rapists idea in a political rag!

8. Retest
Another scientist later experimented and added to my findings that the boiling point of water at 1 atm is really 99.99997899568938299686894928 degrees Celsius, thus improving on the overall accuracy of my original formula.
Someone else found that 15 years of prison produces the same result as the death penalty, and the released rapists after 15 years, in more than 60% of the cases, go on to be model citizens, and in less than 5% of the cases, rape again. This may be acceptable to some communities, and not to others (in which case each community would have to do a cost-benefit analysis, etc. etc. etc.)



Edited by CJB (12/06/09 12:49 PM)
Edit Reason: Hit "submit" waaay too soon on accident.
_________________________
~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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#32616 - 12/07/09 04:56 AM Re: Is Politics a Science? (Essay) [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
GillesdeRais Offline
member


Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 141
 Quote:
For those not in the know, "Mule" was a mutant, or something of an Antichrist figure, throwing the entire predictive matrix of psychohistory into flux, thereby rendering it ineffective.

Thanks, Hari Seldon ;\)
_________________________
Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

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#32626 - 12/07/09 03:06 PM Re: Is Politics a Science? (Essay) [Re: GillesdeRais]
CJB Offline
member


Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 125
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
As I recall (and I haven't read Foundation in well over a decade, and I don't think I read all of it), the Mule was something of a psychic? He had some sort of mind control powers or something...

Hmmm...so politics is basically the "science" of how a society should be constructed, treat its citizens, etc. (vice "ethics" which is how an individual 'should' behave). In order to make the most sweeping general statements about how a society should be, one must assume that all persons living in said society are simliar enough to each other that the conditions of said political structure would be good for all of them (whatever your definition of "good" may be, in this case).

Similarly, psychohistory would be a science that would say "everybody falls under these particular specifications, and based on those specifications, this is pretty much what the future is going to be like."

In either case, psychohistory or politics, a single individual that falls outside of those specifications for whatever reason could muck around with the whole system. So in a collectivist political structure, where the plans of the state are laid out where it assumes everyone is a collectivist, one single individualist could screw the whole system up, if he has the will to.
I suppose the reverse would be true, but I would think on individualistic society would be composed of a smaller amount of people who generally wouldn't listen to any but the most charismatic and reasoned collectivist. But still possible.

...what does this have to do with politics being a science or not? Not too much, I suppose...except that I find myself in agreement with your infinite chess board comparison. Dragging the analogy out even further...(kicking and screaming, of course)...Before you can start playing infinite chess, you have to set up the infinite board, and I think we'd undergo heat death before that happens.
_________________________
~~CJ
"To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"
-Ayn Rand

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