III.2. Interpretive methods

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Juliet Williams
UCLA
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:39 am

What are your top priorities for the QTD?

PostSat Oct 01, 2016 9:02 pm

If you were setting the agenda for profession-wide deliberations on guidelines for qualitative research, what would your top priorities/issues/questions be?

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William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Independent Scholar
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: What are your top priorities for the QTD?

PostThu Nov 24, 2016 5:35 pm

jawilliams wrote:If you were setting the agenda for profession-wide deliberations on guidelines for qualitative research, what would your top priorities/issues/questions be?

Methodological Priorities for Political Science
First, see my comment at, viewtopic.php?p=699#p699, concerning why Empathy is the primary method of Political Science.

Empathy is the primary method for understanding political behavior. It involves imagining oneself in the context under study. It is a highly personal intellectual activity. It is the way humans understand one another, and in our profession probably can't be reduced to methodological steps that another political scientist could follow.

In my view, our profession is largely in denial about the prominence of empathy. What Clarke and Primo call 'Physics Envy' (see A Model Discipline) misleads political scientists into thinking that some sort of 'objective' method and knowledge is attainable for the profession. Yet facts in political science would have no meaning but for the empathic interpretation they are given. We ought to become more self-aware, and recognize the current role of empathy in political science's actual efforts to explain political behavior. Then we ought to fine tune the practice of empathy as a part of professional development. The empathic interpretations offered by one political scientist can be intellectually criticized by others. This debate can result in some consensus as to the appropriate interpretation. Consensus of the relevant experts is the ultimate standard for establishing the validity of political science knowledge. We should work on developing protocols for cultivating such consensus.
William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.

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