Is it reasonable to expect that politics and/or political science should/could abide to the same epistemological notions as hard formal-empirical sciences?

  • 1
    What do you have in mind by 'epistemological notions ?
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 8:55
  • @GeoffreyThomans E.g. repeatability, abiding to logic such as "valid" induction and numerical (e.g. order-related) rules, understanding differences between numerical truth and empirical truth.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 9:06
  • No. The question is rather awkward: politics is a far cry from political science which is a science just by name and 'formal' most often as not is in contrast to 'empirical'. The negative answer boils down to: politics is about taking decisions 'here and now' while science is knowledge sub specie aeternitatis.
    – sand1
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 9:11
  • @sand But what I'm asking is that "should/could". I've recognized that political science is science just by name. But I'm asking, whether it should not be, but whether it could become scientific.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 9:13
  • 1
    Repeatability? How many times can you rerun the Russian Revolution and change a few variables or tweak a few parameters to see whether things will come out differently, and thereby come up with a theory of Russian Revolutions? Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 5:19

1 Answer 1


In a word, no.

The study of anything which involves psychological metric is limited epistemically as there is no means by which to empirically verify statements of self-knowledge except by the self. And this is the case for every area of study from astrology to economics.

  • But there are more aspects to politics than subjective. Since if all was subjective, then e.g. murder could/would be allowed, because it's in accord to the murderer's idea. Therefore for practical reasons, there's at least some objective "domain".
    – mavavilj
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 6:53
  • 1
    +1. It's time to start assessing answers on which work has clearly been put in.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 13:00

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