Formal Axiology and the Philosophy of Social Science; Esp., Political Science
23 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 21, 2013
What is a good political system? Using Robert S. Hartman’s Formal Axiology and David Easton’s concept of a political system, political scientists can now empirically assess the goodness of any political system in the world. These systems can be compared, and determinations made as to which is ‘good,’ ‘better,’ and ‘best’ – or ‘worst.’ With Formal Axiology’s Value Calculus, comparative political systems, public policies, and public laws can be rated with math-like clarity.
The old Fact/Value divide is bridged. Contrary to Humeian dogma, values can be understood and explained just as clearly as can factual matters. Let ‘x’ be an object, and ‘C’ a classification. Then factual determinations begin with the question ‘is x a C?’ I.e., does this thing fit within the category? Using the same kind of intellectual operation, value determinations can be made by asking ‘is x a good C’? I.e., does this thing fit within the category well? Since the determination can be quantified, quantity becomes the measure of quality.
A new era for political science has begun.
Keywords: Political Science, Political Theory, Philosophy of Social Science, Axiology, Non-economic Value Theory
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