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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Paradox Of Ideology, Justin Schwartz Jan 1993

The Paradox Of Ideology, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

A standard problem with the objectivity of social scientific theory in particular is that it is either self-referential, in which case it seems to undermine itself as ideology, or self-excepting, which seem pragmatically self-refuting. Using the example of Marx and his theory of ideology, I show how self-referential theories that include themselves in their scope of explanation can be objective. Ideology may be roughly defined as belief distorted by class interest. I show how Marx thought that natural science was informed by class interest but not therefore necessarily ideology. Capitalists have an interest in understanding the natural world (to a ...


Functional Explanation And Metaphysical Individualism, Justin Schwartz Jan 1993

Functional Explanation And Metaphysical Individualism, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

A number of (present or former) analytical Marxists, such as Jon Elster, have argued that functional explanation has almost no place in the social sciences. (Although the discussion is framed in terms of a debate among analytical Marxists, the point is quite general, and Marxism is used for illustrative purposes.) Functional explanation accounts for what is to be explained by reference to its function; thus, sighted organism have eyes because eyes enable them to see. Elster and other critics of functional explanation argue that this pattern of explanation is inconsistent with "methodological individualism," the idea, as they understand it, that ...


Connecting Education, Work, And Citizenship: How Assessment Can Help, Marcia Mentkowski, Glen Rogers Dec 1992

Connecting Education, Work, And Citizenship: How Assessment Can Help, Marcia Mentkowski, Glen Rogers

Glen Rogers

Complex, multidimensional abilities-such as problem solving and perspective taking-can make the connection between education, work, and citizenship, which, in turn, can rekindle public trust in higher education and stimulate college/ work/community collaboration. How abilities are defined and assesseddeterniines how useful they are to educators, employers, and the public. The authors demonstrate an assessment strategy that infers abilities from perf orniance and compares alumni abilities with professional, national, and f acuity expectations. The strategy helps educators to become more explicit about how learning transfers, and helps students to better meet immediate expectations for perf orniance, envision future roles, and continue ...