Explanatory Limitations in Economics and Political Science Cover Image

Bariery eksplanacyjne w ekonomii i politologii
Explanatory Limitations in Economics and Political Science

Author(s): Zbigniew Blok
Subject(s): Political Theory
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: social sciences; methodology; scientific knowledge; crisis of economics; political science

Summary/Abstract: The aim of the article is to present diverse directions of methodological evolution that took place in two social disciplines: economics and political science. The source of these diametrically opposite methodological decisions, taken by the exponents of “major currents” in these disciplines, can be attributed to diverse strategies of building the identities of their respective disciplines and different perception of the nature of social sciences. Economists, having taken their set of research instruments from formal sciences, were in favour of methodological monism and constructed the identity of their discipline in opposition to other representatives of social sciences. Whereas political science (conscious of the specific character of the subject studied by social sciences) adopted the perspective of methodological dualism, which is the reason why it has been shaping its identity not in opposition to, but within the frame of one scientific field – equipped with common research methods, but focusing on different aspects of research. The article also describes present results of these diverse methodological choices: on the one hand, there is a crisis of explanatory and predictive abilities of economics, brought about by increasing formalization of applied research models; on the other hand, we can currently observe a shift towards interpretationism in political science, which focuses on decoding the meanings and motives of human actions.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 79-106
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Polish