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Shapeless Science, Positivism and Realism in IR


This essay starts from the argument that the first question preceding any
meaningful scientific inquiry is one of a purpose and mission of scientific
enterprise as such. Taking a historizing approach, it indicates that the
nineteenth century positivist philosophy was built precisely around these
questions, while it was precisely these questions again that were
abandoned after the general acceptance of positivism in the USA during
and after World War II. The essay then argues that IR realism, when aligned
with the person and legacy of Hans J. Morgenthau, is a priori incompatible
with both the original positivist philosophy and the positivism that
eventually appeared in the USA with regard to questions of the "mission of
science". Following this, the essay shows the consequences of the spread of
positivism for IR.


Epistemology, History of Science, Historiography of International Relations, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Positivism, Rationalism, Realism, Sociology of Science, Theories of International Relations

PDF Research Article (Czech)