Science is often understood to rely specifically on observable evidence. How do the needs of social research show that observable data are not enough for an adequate understanding of society?
I decided to write this essay to answer your inquiry; a discussion of political science as a social science whereby research & inquiry is informed by quantitative & qualitative methods informed by theories & philosophies dependent on subject matter. The books I used for reference, if you can get copies of them will really help you expand your understanding of what science is, how social science knowledge is arrived at & the complicated manner by which research is conducted upon a subject that cannot be controlled in a laboratory. Thank you for using BrainMass. Attached is the word version of the solution. Print it & use as a guide.
The Challenge of Social Science
When one thinks of 'science', images of scientists in a laboratory studying under a controlled environment come to mind, where the subjects are looked at from all sorts of angles under a microscope, a closed system. Scientia, it's Latin root refers to knowledge, an objective and systematic manner of investigation to arrive upon an explanation of the various aspects of our world. Objective science then is detached from the particular object under it's study at any point in time. The circuit of knowledge that evolved with Reason at it's heart looks to science for a confirmation or an explanation of any phenomenon increasingly since the Age of Enlightenment. Prior to this, man has pointed to the divine to explain phenomenon like rain, gravity, emotions & the question of life/death. The most brilliant of minds from the ancient Greeks to the present have come to depend on a set of principles & practices involved in inquiry that has allowed for the evolution & current established practices of Scientific Research.
We are living in a complex & dynamic world. Human societies have risen & fallen, cultures, history, ...
This solution discusses the scientific approach employed by social scientists when they work at a research project using both quantitative & qualitative methods. The solution also provides a a discussion of political science as a social science whereby research & inquiry is informed by theories & philosophies dependent on subject of study.