Explanation as prediction: the raison d’être of formal models in Political Science

Enzo Lenine

Resumo


Formal models constitute an essential part of contemporary Political Science. Their recent history is tightly tied to the developments of rational choice theory (RCT), which is considered to be the only deductive theory in the social sciences. This unique character, especially its manifestation through mathematical symbolisms, has caused profound schisms and criticisms in the discipline. Formal models have constantly been accused of being built on unrealistic assumptions of human behaviour and social structure, rendering as a result either trivial predictions or no empirical prediction at all. Nevertheless much of these charges are based on a misunderstanding about model design and the essence of explanation. Therefore, in this paper I address the philosophical and theoretical debates on rational choice modelling, drawing attention to how formal models are designed and what kind of explanations their offer. In my understanding, models produce predictions about general phenomena, and hence should not be judged on the basis of cherry-picked cases. Local triumphs by the opponents of modelling and RCT do not suffice to render models useless or false. Rather, their explanatory capacity should be judged on the terms of their general predictions and explanations. 


Palavras-chave


models; methodology; explanation; rational choice theory; political theory

Texto completo:

PDF

Referências


Alexandrovna, Anna; Northcott, Robert. (2013), “It’s just a feeling: Why Economic models do not explain”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 20, no 3: 262-267.

Boumans, Marcel. (1999), “Built-In Justification”, in: M. Morrison and M. S. Morgan (eds.), Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Sciences, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Cartwright, Nancy. (2010), “Models: Parables v Fables”, in: R. Frigg and M. Hunter (eds.), Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science, Amsterdam, Springer Netherlands.

Clarke, Kevin A.; Primo, David M. (2007), “Modernizing Political Science: A Model-Based Approach”, Perspectives on Politics, vol. 5, n ° 4: 741-753.

Clarke, Kevin A; Primo, David M. (2012), A Model Discipline: Political Science and the Logic of Representations. New York, Oxford University Press.

Cox, Gary. (1999), “The Empirical Content of Rational Choice Theory: A Reply to Green and Shapiro”, Journal of Theoretical Politics, vol. 11, n °2: 147-169.

Cox, Gary. (2004), “Lies, Damned Lies, and Rational Choice Analyses”, in: I. Shapiro, R. Smith and T. E. Masoud (eds.), Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Dennett, Daniel C. (1991), “Real Patterns”, The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 88, n ° 1: 27-51.

Dickson, Eric S. (2006), “Rational Choice Epistemology and Belief Formation in Mass Politics”, Journal of Theoretical Politics, vol. 18, n ° 4: 454-497.

Dowding, Keith. (2016), The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

DOWDING, Keith. (2017), “So Much to Say: Response to Commentators”, Political Studies Review, vol. 15, n ° 2: 217-230.

Easton, David. (1985), “Political Science in the United States: Past and Present”, International Political Science Review, vol. 6, n °1: 133-152.

Eriksson, Lina. (2011), Rational Choice Theory: Potential and Limits. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Farr, James. (1995), “Remembering the Revolution: Behavioralism in American Political Science”, in: J. Farr, J. Dryzek and S. Leonard (eds.), Political Science in History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Giere, Ronald. (2004), “How models are used to represent reality”, Philosophy of Science, vol. 71, n °5: 742-752.

Gigerenzer, Gerd; Selten, Reinhard. (2001), “Rethinking Rationality”, in: G. Gigerenzer and R. Selten (eds.), Bounded Rationality: The Adaptative Toolbox, Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Green, Donald; Shapiro, Ian. (1994), Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory. New Haven, Yale University Press.

Hausman, Daniel M. (2005), “‘Testing’ Game Theory”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 12, n ° 2: 211-223.

Hausman, Daniel M. (2013), “Paradox Postponed”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 20, n ° 3: 250-254.

Hindmoor, Andrew; TAYLOR, Brad. (2015), Rational Choice. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2012), “On the Limits of Rational Choice Theory”, Economic Thought, vol. 1, n ° 1: 94-108.

Kahneman, Daniel; Tversky, Amos. (2000), Choices, Values, and Frames. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Ishiyama, John. (2015), “Report of the Editors of the American Political Science Review, 2013-14”, Political Science & Politics, vol. 48, n ° 2: 400-403.

Jacoby, William G.; Lupton, Robert N.; Armaly, Miles T.; Enders, Adam. (2017), “Report to the Editorial Board and the Midwest Political Science Association Executive Council”, 6 January 2018, .

Johnson, James. (2014), “Models among the Political Theorists”, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 58, n ° 3: 547-560.

Johnson, James. (2017), “Models-As-Fables: An Alternative to the Standard Rationale for Using Formal Models in Political Science”. In: Annual Meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association, “Roundtable: New Directions in Formal Theory”, March 2017.

Kirkpatrick, Evron. (1962), “The Impact of the Behavioral Approach on Traditional Political Science”, in: A. Ranney (ed.), Essays on the Behavioral Study of Politics, Urbana, University of Illinois Press.

Klein, Gary. (2001), “The Fiction of Optimization”, in: G. Gigerenzer and R. Selten, Bounded Rationality: The Adaptative Toolbox, Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Lupia, Arthur; Alter, George. (2014), “Data Access and Research Transparency in the Quantitative Tradition”, Political Science & Politics, vol. 47, n ° 1: 54-59.

MacDonald, Paul K. (2003), “Useful Fiction or Miracle Maker: The Competing Epistemological Foundations of Rational Choice Theory”, American Political Science Review, vol. 97, n ° 4: 551-565.

Mäki, Uskali. (2013), “On a Paradox of Truth, or how not to obscure the issue whether explanatory models can be true”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 20, n ° 3: 268-279.

Morrison, Margaret; Morgan, Mary S. (1999), “Models as Mediating Instruments”. in: M. Morrison and M. S. Morgan (eds.), Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Sciences, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Morton, Rebecca M. (1999), Methods and Models: A Guide to the Empirical Analysis of Formal Models in Political Science. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Norris, Pippa. (1997), “Toward A More Cosmopolitan Political Science?”, European Journal of Political Research, 31, n ° 1: 17-34.

Reiss, Julian. (2013), “The Explanation Paradox Redux”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 20, n ° 3:280-292.

Rol, Menno. (2013), “Reply to Julian Reiss”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 20, n ° 3: 244-249.

Rubinstein, Ariel. (1991), “Comments on the Interpretation of Game Theory”, Econometrica, vol. 59, n ° 4: 909-924.

Sartori, Giovanni. (2004), “¿Hacia dónde va la ciencia política?”, Política y Gobierno, vol. 11, n ° 2: 349-354.

Selten, Reihnhard. (2001), “What is Bounded Rationality?”, in: G. Gigerenzer and R. Selten (eds.), Bounded Rationality: The Adaptative Toolbox, Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Shames, Irving H. (1964), Mechanics of Deformable Solids. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall.

Simon, Herbert A. (1957), Models of Man. New York, Wiley.

Snidal, Duncan. (2006), “Rational Choice and International Relations”, in: W. Carlsnaes, T. Risse and B. A. Simmons (eds.), Handbook of International Relations, London, SAGE.

Sudgen, Robert. (2011), “Explanations in Search of Observations”, Biology and Philosophy, vol. 26, n ° 5: 717-736.

Sudgen, Robert. (2013), “How Fictional Accounts Can Explain”, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 20, n ° 3: 237-243.


Apontamentos

  • Não há apontamentos.


Direitos autorais 2018 Enzo Lenine Nunes Batista Oliveira Lima

Licença Creative Commons
Esta obra está licenciada sob uma licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.

I S S N   0 1 0 4  –  7 0 9 4