Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics: Logical, Methodological, and Psychological Perspectives / Edition 1 by Philip E. Tetlock | 9780691027913 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics: Logical, Methodological, and Psychological Perspectives / Edition 1

Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics: Logical, Methodological, and Psychological Perspectives / Edition 1

by Philip E. Tetlock
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691027919

ISBN-13: 9780691027913

Pub. Date: 08/19/1996

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Political scientists often ask themselves what might have been if history had unfolded differently: if Stalin had been ousted as General Party Secretary or if the United States had not dropped the bomb on Japan. Although scholars sometimes scoff at applying hypothetical reasoning to world politics, the contributors to this volume—including James Fearon,

Overview

Political scientists often ask themselves what might have been if history had unfolded differently: if Stalin had been ousted as General Party Secretary or if the United States had not dropped the bomb on Japan. Although scholars sometimes scoff at applying hypothetical reasoning to world politics, the contributors to this volume—including James Fearon, Richard Lebow, Margaret Levi, Bruce Russett, and Barry Weingast—find such counterfactual conjectures not only useful, but necessary for drawing causal inferences from historical data. Given the importance of counterfactuals, it is perhaps surprising that we lack standards for evaluating them. To fill this gap, Philip Tetlock and Aaron Belkin propose a set of criteria for distinguishing plausible from implausible counterfactual conjectures across a wide range of applications.

The contributors to this volume make use of these and other criteria to evaluate counterfactuals that emerge in diverse methodological contexts including comparative case studies, game theory, and statistical analysis. Taken together, these essays go a long way toward establishing a more nuanced and rigorous framework for assessing counterfactual arguments about world politics in particular and about the social sciences more broadly.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691027913
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/19/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.15(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Acknowledgments
1Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics: Logical, Methodological, and Psychological Perspectives1
2Causes and Counterfactuals in Social Science: Exploring an Analogy between Cellular Automata and Historical Processes39
3Counterfactual Reasoning in Western Studies of Soviet Politics and Foreign Relations69
4Confronting Hitler and Its Consequences95
5Back to the Past: Counterfactuals and the Cuban Missile Crisis119
6Counterfactual Reasoning in Motivational Analysis: U.S. Policy toward Iran149
7Counterfactuals about War and Its Absence171
8Using Counterfactuals in Historical Analysis: Theories of Revolution187
9Counterfactuals and International Affairs: Some Insights from Game Theory211
10Off-the-Path Behavior: A Game-Theoretic Approach to Counterfactuals and Its Implications for Political and Historical Analysis230
11Rerunning History: Counterfactual Simulation in World Politics247
12Counterfactuals, Past and Future268
Commentary 1: Conceptual Blending and Counterfactual Argument in the Social and Behavioral Sciences291
Commentary 2: Psychological Biases in Counterfactual Thought Experiments296
Commentary 3: Counterfactual Inferences as Instances of Statistical Inferences301
Commentary 4: Counterfactuals, Causation, and Complexity309
References317
Index337

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >