Giovanni Sartori

How to do political science

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: concept analysis; definition; theory; logic; ladder of abstraction.

No science can be made out of fuzzy and confused concepts. In way it is true that, at the same time, concepts shape the theories and are shaped by the theories. Any good conceptual analysis will go through three different stages: 1) anatomy; 2) reconstruction; 3) formation of the concept. Clear and precise definitions are essential. Without them, the analysis will go nowhere. When the concepts are precisely defined it will become possible also to proceed to useful classifications. The distinction to be kept in mind runs between conceptual analysis and simple terminological rationalization. Only after having proceeded to an appropriate classification it will be fruitful to launch measurement efforts. In the end, the scholar may find that some concepts contain facts and some concepts are capable of finding facts. And the scientific endeavor will be considerably enriched.

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