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Behaviouralism - Essay Example

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Pages 12 (3012 words)


One of the most misunderstood concepts in the field of political science, behaviouralism, until recently continues to confuse students of politics and the social sciences. One of the most prominent figures of this discipline, Robert Dahl, admitted that our idea of the concept is both confounding and contradictory even though he referred to it as a 'successful protest' against impressionistic works.1 Until recently, the field of political science is haunted by the indelible marks that behaviouralism has left in the area of politics and political philosophy…

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All throughout its short history, behaviouralism and the definitions appended to it had always caused disagreements and confusion. Waldo for instance, stated that the even the concept itself emerged as confounding and vague.2 Easton admitted that those who endeavoured to define the idea only strove to bestow it his own personal definition3 and concluded that it was useless to classify behaviouralism using a definite categorization system4. A similar warning has been put forth by David Truman who argued that those who generalise the definition of behaviouralism commit blunders, as the concept was a rebellion against orthodox methodologies utilised in the study of politics.5 This is the difficulty in interpreting the meaning of behaviouralism, since authorities, to whom we can always base our interpretations, on this concept abound.6 The confusion brought about by the definition or the lack of it, led many to contend that behaviouralism did not seem to exist, at all. ...
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