1. Project - Philosophy of Political Science
Here you can find the
PDF versions of the project "Philosophy of Political Science" in English, German and Romanian:
Philosophy of Political Science. Limits and
possibilities of political science research: axiological,
epistemic, methodological and ontological foundations of political
Philosophie der Politikwissenschaft. Grenzen und
Möglichkeiten politikwissenschaftlicher Forschung: Axiologische,
epistemische, methodologische und ontologische Grundlagen der
Filosofia științelor politice. Limitele și
posibilitățile ale cercetării în științele politice: fundamentele
axiologice, epistemice, metodologice și ontologice ale științelor
The general philosophy of science analyzes the rational
limits and possibilities of the sciences. It discusses the
importance of empiricism, methodology, practical relevance,
rationality and values. The central question is: what are the
foundations of scientific research? In my opinion, four types
of questions can be ideally identified and discussed:
Ontology: What objects can and should be
scientifically investigated? What kinds of problems, what entities,
characteristics, phenomena, relations or structures should be addressed
Axiology: What tasks and goals do
scientists pursue? To what extent can and should values be studied? Which
values constitute science?
Methodology: What is and what can science
do? How can science be guaranteed? What are the limits and possibilities of
Epistemology: What results, knowledge
or theories can science generate?
The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science (McIntyre/Rosenberg
2017) has a chapter on every social science (economics, history, political
science, psychology and sociology/anthropology). The chapter on political
science is titled “Why is there no philosophy of political science?”
(Verbeek/McIntyre 2017). Firstly, the authors state that there is no special
discipline philosophy of political science with a corresponding institutional
anchoring in the science system, e.g. curricula, chairs or journals. Secondly,
there are a variety of contributions that deal with the limits and
possibilities of political science research and thus with fundamental issues of
In this lecture / seminar an insight into the special field of
philosophy of political science is given. Firstly, the limits
and possibilities of political science research are discussed in an
ideal-typical way using the axiological, epistemological, methodological and
ontological foundations. Secondly, the significance of this special
discipline for the entire discipline of political science is worked
out. Dealing with the fundamentals of the discipline not only enables a
therapeutic dimension to eliminate misunderstandings, but also promotes
innovative insights that can advance the discipline of political science in
many ways. Four sets of questions are discussed:
Ontological dimension: What is the subject
area of political science as part of the science system? What kinds of
problems, what entities, properties, phenomena, relations or structures are
addressed within political science?
Axiological dimension: What tasks and
goals can and should political scientists pursue? To what extent can and
should political values be studied? Which values constitute political
Methodological dimension: Which procedures
can be guaranteed to be scientific? Which political science methodologies
are used? What are the limits and possibilities of political science
Epistemic dimension: What results,
knowledge goals, political knowledge or political theories can be generated
by political science?
Language and mathematics are the most important tools of scientists. If one
considers language alone as an instrument of science, then two peculiarities
stand out: first, there is a huge number of languages; and second, scientists
all over the world tend to publish only in English, today’s lingua franca.
In the following, I would like to show two things. Firstly, multilingualism
increases the performance of language as an instrument of science. Secondly,
multilingualism contributes to the reliability of the results because these are
simultaneously reproduced in another language. Therefore, it is useful to
publish in at least one more language besides English. These theses are
developed using the example of a problem from the philosophy of knowledge,
based on the distinction made by Gilbert Ryle between “knowing that” and
“knowing how”. Here you can find a detailed article about it:
Aristotle, 4th century BC. “Aristotelian Organon.” Retrieved March, 25, 2019
Organon I: Categories (Greek: peri ton kategorion, Latin: categoriae)
Organon II: On Interpretation (peri hermeneias, de interpretatione)
Organon III: Prior Analytics (analytika protera, analytica priora)
Organon IV: Posterior Analytics (analytika hystera, analytica posteriora)
Organon V: Topics (peri ton topoi, topica)
Organon VI: On Sophistical Refutations (peri ton sophistikon elenchon, de
Bevir, Mark/Rhodes, Roderick Arthur William, (Hg.), 2016a: Routledge Handbook
of Interpretative Political Science. London, New York: Routledge.
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M./Brady, Henry E./Collier, David (Hg.), 2010a :
Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Creswell, John W., 32013 . Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design.
Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage
Flick, Uwe/Kardorff, Ernst von/Steinke, Ines (Hg.), 112015 : Qualitative
Forschung. Ein Handbuch. Reinbek: Rowohlt.
Herfeld, Catherine, 2017: Philosophie der Politikwissenschaft. In: Lohse,
Simon/Reydon, Thomas, (Hg.), 2017: Grundriss Wissenschaftsphilosophie. Die
Philosophien der Einzelwissenschaften. Hamburg: Felix Meiner. 615-650.
Lauer, Johann, 2017: „Methodenstreit“ und Politikwissenschaft. Der
methodologische Glaubenskrieg am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts zwischen
szientistischem Establishment und phronetischen Perestroikans. Heidelberg:
Leopold, David/Stears, Marc, [Hg.], 2008: Political Theory: Methods and
Approaches. Oxford: Oxford Universtiy Press.
List, Christian/Valentini, Laura, 2016: The Methodology of Political Theory.
In: Cappelen, Herman/Gendler, Tamar Szabó/Hawthorne, John, (Hg.), 2016: The
Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lohse, Simon/Reydon, Thomas, (Hg.), 2017: Grundriss Wissenschaftsphilosophie.
Die Philosophien der Einzelwissenschaften. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.
McIntyre, Lee/Rosenberg, Alex, (Hg.), 2017: The Routledge Companion to
Philosophy of Social Science. London, New York: Routledge.
Moses, Jonathan W., and Torbjørn L. Knutsen, 22012 . Ways of Knowing.
Competing Methodologies in Social and Political Research. New York: Palgrave
Verbeek, Bruno/McIntyre, Lee, 2017: Why is there no philosophy of political
science? In: McIntyre, Lee/Rosenberg, Alex, (Hg.), 2017: The Routledge
Philosophy Companion to Philosophy of Science. 433-447.