Imagining IR as a Pluralistic Social Science with Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

For decades, IR scholars have labored under a delusion: that there is One True Scientific Method, and that strict adherence to that method will guarantee the scientific status of their empirical researches and pronouncements. Even a cursory examination of the literature in the philosophy of science shows us that this is simply not the case -- and yet the cultural valence of the notion of "science" remains, making it imperative that the field have some kind of answer to "the science question." Patrick Thaddeus Jackson presents a pluralistic solution, one that acknowledges the existence of significant differences between philosophical ontologies (ways of thinking about the mind-world hook-up) and the methodological perspectives to which they give rise, but organizes that diversity so as to promote internal consistency, public discussion, and worldly insight as the hallmark of a scientific study of world politics. 

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is currently Director of the General Education Program, and Associate Professor of International Relations in the School of International Service, at the American University in Washington, DC. He previously taught at Columbia University and New York University. He is presently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Relations and Development, and Series Editor of the University of Michigan Press' book series Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics.Jackson is the author of the book The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics (Routledge, 2011) which was published earlier this year. 


Practical information

The lecture is open to anyone and will be held in English.

To participate in the event please RSVP no later than May 20, 2011