hypothesis to focus the search. The test, then, is in determining whether these
relationships hold for some useful varieties of data, and the research task
emphasizes refining and determining the scope of both data and regularities
into a single hypothesis, with a focus on some manipulable independent
variable. Whereas the scientific method begins with at least one deterministic
hypothesis, the search for regularities culminates with a single probabilistic
hypothesis, but does not attempt to verify or prove it in any deterministic
way. Despite nondeterminism and lack of "proof," the value of simple lawlike
regularities is not a peculiar feature of complex systems in the physical
sciences, but seems particularly useful to social scientific analyses.
Franklin M. Fisher, "On the Cost of Approximate Specification in Simultaneous
Equation Estimation," in
Franklin M. Fisher &
Herbert A. Simon, eds., Essays on the Structure of Social Science Models ( Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1963), 32-63. This position is supported by the theorem that if a system is near-
decomposable with only small "feedbacks" relative to primary influences, system-level
analysis may plausibly proceed as if it were completely decomposable (partitioned,
recursive, and epistemologically hierarchic), with only minor short-run cognitive or
epistemic costs at subsystem levels. The Ando-Fisher theorem is, however, only an
existence" theorem that does not establish tests for "sufficient smallness" of feedback.
Despite this weakness, aggregation and partition will, over the general system, "be at
worst trivially possible and at best quite helpful." Albert Ando & Franklin M. Fisher, "Near-Decomposability, Partition and Aggregation, and the Relevance of Stability
Simon, Essays on the Structure of Social Science Models, 92-106; 100.
Nazli Choucri &
Robert C. North, "Dynamics of International Conflict: Some
Policy Implications of Population, Resources, and Technology," World Politics 24
supplementary issue (Spring 1972): 97.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Economic Basis of Peace:Linkages between Economic Growth and International Conflict.
Contributors: William H. Mott IV - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 269.
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