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The Logic of Functional and Systems Analyses in Political Science

Jerone Stephens
Midwest Journal of Political Science
Vol. 13, No. 3 (Aug., 1969), pp. 367-394
DOI: 10.2307/2110230
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110230
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Logic of Functional and Systems Analyses in Political Science
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Abstract

This work constitutes an attempt to point out the logical similarities between functional and systems analyses in political science, and to show that both types of analyses contain serious logical and empirical problems. The focus is on an analysis of a small system and on a type of systems analysis that can be used to examine the operation of large systems. It was felt that such an examination would be beneficial because some political scientists who believe functional or systems analysis is adequate for one type of system think it useless for other systems. The author shows that the same problems are present for both large and small systems. The question of the explanatory versus the heuristic usefulness of these analyses is also discussed.

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