Сontemporary political epistemology: between postpositivism and classical epistemology

  • O. S. Tokovenko Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk national university
Keywords: scientific knowledge, conceptual population, falsification, political theory, determinism, paradigmatic changes


The specifics of contemporary political science as a field of scientific knowledge manifested in a fact that in political science research paradigm of political reality understanding past century and new methodological and meta-theoretical approaches are coexisting. They retain their validity and equality. In political science find their usage research matrixes of philosophy, law, psychology, sociology etc. This is caused by the specific subject area of politics, which is undergoing constant modification and demands from researchers who are looking for complex measurements and displays the political sphere. Meanwhile, political science requires standardization and harmonization, in accordance with needs of fixing rigorous empirical data and innovation as a result of scientific research.Considering the cognitive activities in its retrospection, postpozityvists of twentieth century determined the genesis and causal relationships of theories emergence that articulate picture of modern scientific understanding of the world. To some extent postpositivist epistemic interpretation of scientific knowledge has a common nature with many paradigms that are the objects of postpositivist reflection. The vision of the entire panorama of political knowledge, including ordinary knowledge, means the opportunity to determine the conditions of probable knowledge and its qualitative perspectives. The ability to see the truth and compliance of some sets of knowledge to criteria of truth determines postpositivists` attention to discussion procedures and reaching of conventional agreements. Considering the theory and practice of scientific knowledge as a subject of study, postpositivists refer not only to the objective conditions of competition of knowledge, but also to the subjective aspects of understanding the reality of its formalization. In theory these features occur on certain habits and traditions of the scientific community which have nothing common, or have little common with the actual content of research and their results. Ideological political knowledge, which builds a picture of the political world in authoritarian and totalitarian countries, is an example of pseudoepistemic truth and authoritarian affirmation of the truth status of knowledge. The problem of the usual categories of knowledge becomes central to the study of its staff in the difficult conditions of the modern scientific community. Not only the definition of true or false in postpositivist concepts serves as an argument to determine the mechanisms of new knowledge. Postpositivists analyze the discussion on those issues in political science, which in the past have received resistant and non controversial status. Constant checking of inconsistency in knowledge creates new and new topics for discussion. However, comprehension of epistemic potential of modern political theory is only possible through the recess in the previous structure of knowledge and its logical line.


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How to Cite
Tokovenko, O. (2016). Сontemporary political epistemology: between postpositivism and classical epistemology. Grani, 19(8), 70-76. https://doi.org/10.15421/171654