Comment on the View That Political Science Is a Science

1000 Words4 Pages
Science in its broadest sense can be defined as a mass of knowledge relating to a particular subject acquired by systematic observation, experience or study: classification, generalization and predictability are the essential methods of its study. According to Karl Pearson ,’’ a man who classifies facts of any kind whatsoever, who sees their mutual relations and describes their sequences, is applying the scientific method and is a man of science’’. However, according to the European consortium for political research, an independent scholarly association based in San Francisco in the United States of America, political science can be defined as a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, nation, government and politics and policies of governments. Aristotle also defined political science as the master science in the highest sense. Interestingly, renowned writers like Bodin, Hobbes, Montesquieu and many more have held the same view. David Easton, a Canadian-born American political scientist defined politics as the authoritative allocation of values for society. Harold Lasswell, a leading American political scientist defined politics as who gets what, when and how. So what makes a discipline scientific? Is it the discipline to provide absolute answers to absolute problems or is it the rigorous nature of the method used to arrive at the answers? But objections have been raised to this view, and the claim of political science to be regarded as a science. It has been denied by another group of writers among whom Buckle, Maitland and Auguste Comte are the foremost. Buckle said ‘’politics is far from being a science. It is one of the most backward of all arts’’. Maitland also said ‘’when I see a good set of examination questions headed by the word political science, I regret not the question but the title’’. Auguste Comte also held the same and
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