Helsingin yliopisto - Helsingfors universitet - University of Helsinki ID 2009-55
Tiedekunta-Fakultet-Faculty
Faculty of Social Sciences
Laitos-Institution-Department
Department of Political Science
Tekijä-Författare-Author
Penny, Richard
Työn nimi-Arbetets titel-Title
A redescription of the concept for political studies
Oppiaine-Läroämne-Subject
World Politics
Työn laji-Arbetets art-Level
Master's thesis
Aika-Datum-Month and year
2009-03-16
Sivumäärä-Sidantal- Number of pages
94 s.
Tiivistelmä-Referat-Abstract
This thesis will focus on our understanding of the nature of concepts within political theory. We will begin by noting that our possession of a functional conceptual model is a vital, perhaps essential, prerequisite for rich and useful theorizing about political concepts. We will then hypothesise that the model of the concept common to political study is not fully functional, but problematic, and a likely source of some of the difficulties political theorists have in offering useful definitions of key political concepts. In the first chapter we shall seek to uncover and document a common political approach to the concept. This will be achieved by focusing on a case-study - the debates over the meaning of the term ‘freedom’. Using the works of a number of scholars, but particularly Isaiah Berlin, we will attempt to explicate a common conceptual model that these contributors presuppose. With this achieved we will then draw upon the conceptual theory of both the disciplines of analytical philosophy and the cognitive sciences, in order to mount a critique of this conceptual model. Having done so, we will attempt to construct an alternative conceptual account, which addresses the shortcomings of current approaches, and also takes into account the particular nature of political terms. In the final section we will assess the potential of such an approach as a tool for future conceptual research. We will document how it has the capacity to both offer a richer account of political concepts, and moderate the contestation which is often characteristic of political terms.
Avainsanat-Nyckelord-Keywords
political studies politics - concepts concepts - description concepts - redescription politiikantutkimus politiikka - käsitteenmuodostus käsitteet - määrittely
Säilytyspaikka-Förvaringsställe-Where deposited
Muita tietoja-Övriga uppgifter-Additional information