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Evaluating Theory in Political Science*

By Will H. Moore


This paper discusses several criteria over which theories should be evaluated. After defining the term ‘theory, ’ and identifying the purpose of theory, I argue that any given theory should be comparatively evaluated against a rival theory that purports to explain the same phenomenon along the following criteria: postdictive accuracy, generality of explanans, hypothetical yield, progressive research program, implications, and parsimony

Year: 2001
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