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Political theorising: Four conceptions of the nature of theory

Cook, I. (1991) Political theorising: Four conceptions of the nature of theory. Australian Journal of Political Science, 26 (3). pp. 510-525.

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This paper is focused upon the issue of the nature of political theorising. The paper presents four different conceptions of political theorising derived from literature on the subject written by those concerned with the nature of political theory or philosophy. These four different conceptions constitute alternative practices for those who designate themselves political theorists. They constitute alternative practices because they are based upon different understandings of the nature of thinking, the role of the intellectual, the function of language or the character of social science. The intention behind this paper is to map the intellectual terrain occupied by those who engage in political theorising. The final recommendation is that each of the four conceptions be accepted as legitimate alternative practices and any temptation toward designating one conception as true political theorising be resisted.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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