Document Type

Article

Subject Area(s)

Political Science

Abstract

Texts designed to introduce political science students to the history of political thought or to past political theories have been commonplace in the discipline, as have disputes about their pedagogical utility or justifiability, and methodological debates concerning their adequacy or legitimacy. In an effort to address these disputes and some of these debates, I construct three models of historiographical inquiry. Each model represents a particular approach, and each is defined in terms of three common features. The methodological debates are joined both indirectly and directly: indirectly by identifying clearly the majorfeatures and purposes of these approaches, and directly by consideration of such issues as the nature of a historical tradition, the legitimacy of certain interpretive strategies and presuppositions, and the viability of certain conceptions of past political theory. I conclude that each approach can make significant contributions to the education of political science students.

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