1. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    10 Oct '11 15:10
    Is it really science? I don't belive so, but I don't study it in any advanced courses. At any undergraduate university level, I say it should be termed political philosophy, but yet it proclaims itself to be science along with all the other "social science's"...

    My professor makes little word equations, and drops some function notation here and there, but he's not fooling me...I know what he is doing is not science.

    Is it termed "science" because a handful (how many study this, I don't know) of the most intellegent people in the world decided to use politics as the frame in which the apply advanced mathematics, thus filtering the term down to the other, probably large percent of, low level politics courses, or is it just a blatent misuse of the term science?

    just looking for some thoughts.
  2. Germany
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    10 Oct '11 16:30
    That depends on how you define the word "science".
  3. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    10 Oct '11 17:143 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    That depends on how you define the word "science".
    Why does it depend on how "I or we" define science...I can see that there are going to be gray areas, but if it has not been clearly defined then its subjective, and thus science itself is not science.

    I'm no authority on the matter, but I'd say Science is a subset of all things philisophical that attempts to answer the "hows" of the question rather than the "whys", by means of hypothesizing and experimentation (ie if there is no attempt to model a system with mathematics, make a prediction, and test said model by experimentation, no science can be done).
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    10 Oct '11 17:46
    But it does depend largely on how you define the word science. Political Science is a systematic study of politics. Whether or not that qualifies as a science is up to you.
  5. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    10 Oct '11 18:15
    Originally posted by amolv06
    But it does depend largely on how you define the word science. Political Science is a systematic study of politics. Whether or not that qualifies as a science is up to you.
    Rate these based on your opinion from most scientific to least... Biology, Mathematics, Political Science, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry
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    12 Oct '11 03:35
    Tied for #1: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Political Science (in alphabetical order)
    #5: Math (I had a hard time choosing whether to put this with #1, or as a separate category)
    #6: Engineering
  7. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    12 Oct '11 12:191 edit
    Originally posted by amolv06
    Tied for #1: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Political Science (in alphabetical order)
    #5: Math (I had a hard time choosing whether to put this with #1, or as a separate category)
    #6: Engineering
    4 way tie...nice cop out!

    What criteria did you use to judge?
  8. Cape Town
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    12 Oct '11 12:37
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    4 way tie...nice cop out!
    Its not a cop out. Why should some subjects be more sciency than others? I can understand Engineering being 'applied science' rather than 'science' and mathematics being all on its own, but why should the remaining sciences be graded?
  9. 42.4º N / -71.2º W
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    12 Oct '11 14:12
    Science is simply using the hypothetico-deductive method to approach empirical questions. Nothing more, nothing less. Anyone using the scientific method is doing science, end of story. Mathematics is not science because it is not empirical - it doesn't rely on data, but rather exists in a set of rules designed to manipulate data. Engineering is also not science because it applies the results of science to solve real-world problems.
  10. 42.4º N / -71.2º W
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    12 Oct '11 14:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Its not a cop out. Why should some subjects be more sciency than others? I can understand Engineering being 'applied science' rather than 'science' and mathematics being all on its own, but why should the remaining sciences be graded?
    As twhitehead said - you can't rank sciences on scienceness. They all use the scientific method and are therefore science. I think what you are trying to rank them on is controlledness - physics and chemistry can perform experiments controlled down to the minutest number of variables. Political science and sociology must be content with many many confounding variables because the systems they study are infinitely less controllable in a lab setting. But what the latter two and the former two have in common is the scientific method itself.
  11. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    12 Oct '11 17:321 edit
    It's science if they can predict what will happen and manipulate it. Karl Rove, Rupert Murdoch - these are people who apply political science for practical purposes.

    E.g.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/salenazito/2011/05/28/the_scots-irish_voting_bloc/page/2

    He decided as a strategist that it made sense to target House seats Democrats held in areas settled by Scots-Irish families -- even if those congressional seats were considered to be "safe" Democratic incumbents.

    His theory worked.

    Republicans won eight of the 12 seats they targeted.
  12. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    12 Oct '11 19:27
    Originally posted by kyngj
    As twhitehead said - you can't rank sciences on scienceness. They all use the scientific method and are therefore science. I think what you are trying to rank them on is controlledness - physics and chemistry can perform experiments controlled down to the minutest number of variables. Political science and sociology must be content with many many confounding v ...[text shortened]... ing. But what the latter two and the former two have in common is the scientific method itself.
    Well, I hear plenty of theories in the course and conjecture, but oddly no imperical evidence....so if mathematics can be extricated from science for lack of empirisim, how does a philosophy that literally wears a "science" name tag as if to boast, not be seperateable...

    I'm not saying that politics couldn't be absorbed into science period, but rather that it shouldn't be absorbed into science at university undergraduate levels, as the nature of the beast requires a person to be highly educated in mathematics to be scientifically rigourous in it modeling.
  13. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    12 Oct '11 19:281 edit
    Originally posted by kyngj
    As twhitehead said - you can't rank sciences on scienceness. They all use the scientific method and are therefore science. I think what you are trying to rank them on is controlledness - physics and chemistry can perform experiments controlled down to the minutest number of variables. Political science and sociology must be content with many many confounding v ...[text shortened]... ing. But what the latter two and the former two have in common is the scientific method itself.
  14. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    12 Oct '11 19:45
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It's science if they can predict what will happen and manipulate it. Karl Rove, Rupert Murdoch - these are people who apply political science for practical purposes.

    E.g.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/salenazito/2011/05/28/the_scots-irish_voting_bloc/page/2

    He decided as a strategist that it made sense to target House seats Democrats hel ...[text shortened]... umbents.

    His theory worked.

    Republicans won eight of the 12 seats they targeted.
    Your point is also a freightning one... Science studys systems, so engineers can manipulate/control those systems in such a way that it benefits mankind....How will learning to control/manipulate politics benefit mankind, and who are the political "engineers"?
  15. 42.4º N / -71.2º W
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    13 Oct '11 00:191 edit
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    Well, I hear plenty of theories in the course and conjecture, but oddly no imperical evidence....so if mathematics can be extricated from science for lack of empirisim, how does a philosophy that literally wears a "science" name tag as if to boast, not be seperateable...

    I'm not saying that politics couldn't be absorbed into science period, but rather t person to be highly educated in mathematics to be scientifically rigourous in it modeling.
    Well - I have to agree with you that many of the tenets of political science are based on scientific experiments by psychologists, not by political scientists themselves. Perhaps political science might best be called "applied economic psychology" or "applied moral psychology".

    My point about mathematics is not that it is any less (rigorous) than science, but rather that it should be seen as the language of science. Language is what it is. Science is what you do with it.
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