The Prematurity of “Prematurity”
in Political Science
George Von der Muhll
Shortly after the Second World War, the “Behavioral Revolution” swept through the academic study of politics.1 From that point onward, professional students of the subject have searched for a single organizing paradigm that would provide their field with the shared concepts and established propositional canon they see in the natural sciences. None has yet emerged. Instead, several proposed theoretical perspectives have competed for attention within the various disciplinary subfields of political “science. ” Their proliferation has so far served mainly to emphasize a conspicuous deficiency of logical integration within the discipline.
In such a setting, it is impossible to say that any one paradigm has displaced another. Nor can one say that an important finding is ignored because it appears anomalous within a currently accepted framework. Instead, various proposed models of inquiry—frequently drawn by analogy from the much more logically integrated field of economics or from one or another of the natural sciences—compete for attention, enjoy a brief half-life of attention as their theoretical architecture____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Prematurity in Scientific Discovery: On Resistance and Neglect. Contributors: Ernest B. Hook - Editor. Publisher: University of California Press. Place of publication: Berkeley, CA. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 253.
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