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Connect tradition and progress


Research Focuses 

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 Praktische Wissenschaften
 Praktische Politikwissenschaft


 Europäische Union
 Soziale Sicherheit


 Lebenslauf - Curriculum Vitae

1. Methodology Seitenanfang

The central relevance of scientific methodology is given because methodology alone justifies and legitimizes the difference between science and other forms of cognition. Science is the place where scientific knowledge is generated. In this place, by means of scientific  methodology, scientific knowledge is guaranteed and constituted, so that science lends scientific authority to this knowledge (see Chart 1: Scientific operations and scientific discourses with reference to political science).

Methodology established the transition from myth to logos in antiquity, and still today makes it possible to distinguish between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge that are not scientifically, i. E. not methodologically and not systematically generated. I work on three projects in methodology:

2. Content main focuses Seitenanfang

The search for scientific answers to political questions forms the core of my work. I acknowledge empirical (descriptive, explanative and prognostic) answers, my claim is to formulate and justify practical (normative, pragmatic, technical-instrumental) answers with scientific tools (concepts, sentences, theories, logics, reasoning, methods and methodological approaches) (see Chart 2: Knowledge (Wissen) versus capability (Können) and Chart 3: Knowledge (theory) versus praxis (action)).

Methodological questions can, in my opinion, only be adequately operated within a participatory scientific methodology. This requires, first, that one deals with philosophical or scientific-theoretical questions (see Practical Sciences (praktische Wissenschaften)); secondly, the concrete axiological, conceptual, epistemological, methodological and ontological considerations within a concrete discipline (see Practical Political Science (praktische Politikwissenschaft)); thirdly, applying the methodology developed to concrete, paradigmatic examples. Science theory (i.E. philosophical foundations of science) is pursued as a participatory science methodology using the following concrete special fields within political science:

3. Motto: Connect tradition and progress Seitenanfang

In particular, using the example of these three topics, scientific tools (concepts and methodological approaches) were faithfully explained, explicated, clarified, reconstructed, newly developed or further developed according to my motto "connect tradition and progress". Progress is possible and meaningful only on the basis of tradition.

If you first acquire the tradition, you also avoid unwanted surprises. New developments are not revolutions, because originality is often wrongly claimed, although this is often a lack of literature knowledge. Originality is a lack of literature knowledge, an intellectual joker once said: "´Originalität ist Mangel an Literaturkenntnis´, hat ein intellektueller Spaßvogel einmal behauptet" (Klaus Gustav Heinrich von Beyme, 2005: Das Zeitalter der Avantgarden: Kunst und Gesellschaft 1905-1955. München: C. H. Beck. S. 17).

What you have inherited from your fathers / Acquire it to own it: Was du ererbt von deinen Vätern hast,/Erwirb es, um es zu besitzen“ (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1978 [1808]: Faust. Goethes Faust-Dichtungen. Bearbeitet von Gotthard Erler. Nachwort und bibliographische Hinweise Gerhard Pickerodt. München: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag. S. 171 [Vers: 682-683]).


SeitenanfangChart 1: Scientific operations and scientific discourses with reference to political science

1. Analytical operations of political science

Analytical discourses

Analytical discourse: Analytical discourse includes analytical operations and generates analytical knowledge. This especially includes political concepts or categories, but also models for analyzing political reality and for legitimizing practic-political standardization and regulations. These are conceptual or logical truths in the form of non-empirical, truth-apt statements.
2. Empirical operations of political science
or operations concerning what is, or what constitutes political reality, comprising of sentences (descriptions, explanations and predictions), and sentences
about valid standardisation and regulation of a political system

Empirical discourses

2.1 Descriptive operation or descriptions of political reality

Descriptive discourse: In this case, the aim is to
understand political reality. What exists becomes the
focus of attention – using descriptive-interpretative methods a picture is created of what everyday politics is like in a political system: Power structures, dependencies and political decision-making processes are considered and examined in more detail. This also includes truth-apt statements regarding maxims for action (guidelines, norms, principles and values). These are identified and described, e.g. the welfare state postulate, e.g. Article 20 of the German Constitution. However, it also includes a detailed description of action strategies and instruments such as social security systems.
2.2 Explanatory operation or explanations of
political reality 
Explanatory discourse: Political reality also requires causal explanations. For example, there are explanations for demographic developments, but also for why social policy has developed in one way and not another.
2.3 Predictive operation
or predictions with respect to future political developments
Predictive discourse: The need to predict future
developments with forecast is central: It makes sense to take a look into the future in order to provide decision-makers in the present with important key information.
3. Practical operations of political science
or operations concerning what ought to be, containing discourses on standardisations or
regulations, e.g. maxims of action, strategies of action, instruments for action, instructions for action and practical judgements
(Handlungsmaximen, Handlungsstrategien, Handlungsinstrumente, Handlungsanweisungen und praktische Urteile)
Practical discourses
3.1 Normative operation or normative
dimension of policy
Normative discourse or value discourse: In this case, the political maxims of action (Handlungsmaximen) which are decisive for the standardisation or regulation of the political system as a whole or of a policy area should be discussed.
3.2 Pragmatic operation, strategic level or dimension of policy Pragmatic discourse or objective discourse: In this case, the political strategies of action (Handlungsstrategien) that will be decisive for the regulation of a policy area should be discussed.
3.3 Technical operation, the operational level or dimension of policy Technical discourse or means discourse: In this case, the political instruments for action and individual instructions for action (Handlungsinstrumente) that are decisive for the regulation of a policy area should be discussed.


Seitenanfang Chart 2: Knowledge (Wissen) versus capability (Können)

1. Knowledge (theory)

Scientists, such as political scientists, generate empirical and/or practical knowledge, natural scientists empirical knowledge, technical
scientists practical knowledge.

Form of knowledge: Analytical knowledge in the form of propositions. Conceptual and logical truths in the form of non-empirical, truth-apt statements.

Form of knowledge:

Empirical knowledge in the form of natural or social science propositional and propositional systems, including statements about standards and rules.

Type of science:
Empirical (theoretical) sciences.

Examples: Natural sciences, empirical social sciences.
Analytical and empirical knowledge is also propositional knowledge, because both are formulated as truth-apt statement.

Descriptive knowledge in the form of truth-apt descriptions.
Explanatory knowledge in the form of truth-apt explanations.
Predictive knowledge in the form of truth-apt predictions.

Form of knowledge:
Practical knowledge in the form of practical standardisations and regulations

Type of science:
Practical (normative, pragmatic and technical) sciences.

Examples: medical sciences, technical sciences, practical social (political) sciences.

Practical knowledge consists of three
different components:

  • Why, or the normative component, consisting of ethical-moral evaluations, in this case maxims of action (Handlungsmaximen),
  • What for, or the pragmatic component, objectives and purposes, in this case action strategies (Handlungsstrategien),
  • and how, the technical component, means, here action instruments (Handlungsinstrumente).
Normative knowledge in the form of maxims of action (Handlungsmaximen) and normative-political judgements that are just or unjust.
Pragmatic knowledge in the form of action strategies (Handlungsstrategien) and
pragmatic judgments consisting of e.g. different methodical approaches to cure a disease. Pragmatic rules are wise or unwise.
Technical knowledge in the form of tools for action (Handlungsinstrumente) and technical judgements, e.g. methods that contain practical technical rules for curing a disease. Technical rules are effective or ineffective.

2. Capability (Können)

Actors: Practitioners:
ccitizens, politicians, civil servants, administrators, entrepreneurs can make political decisions.

Practical competence in implementing empirical and practical knowledge, to be able to do something, e.g. the skill of the physician, craftsman, engineer, teacher, manager, politician, scientist to produce outstanding achievements in his or her field.

Capability consists of dispositions, competencies, skills in doing something. This is the area covered under the label of implicit, non-propositional knowledge. This is only one part of expertise (know-how), that of practical capability. Ryle´s conception of know how include what I understand under practical capability and practical knowledge, know that includes analytical and empirical knowledge.


Seitenanfang Chart 3: Knowledge (theory) versus praxis (action)

1. Knowledge (theory):

Sphere of cognition and knowledge

A scientist is always a theorist, no matter whether he asserts empirical propositions regarding political reality with an empirical methodology or whether he also legitimize justice standardizations or regulations using a practical methodology. In the first case the scientist generates empirical knowledge, in the second practical knowledge.

There are no applied sciences, but only practical sciences and scientifically trained practitioners who apply knowledge, and scientists who generate knowledge.

2. Praxis (action):
Sphere of action

A practitioner (citizen, politician, official, administrator, entrepreneur) changes (political) reality, whether he refers to scientifically based empirical and practical knowledge and makes rational decisions, or makes subjective gut decisions.

Theory and praxis are considered as complementary and not hierarchical. Equivalence between the two, as is usual in the Bacon programme, is also rejected.

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