Document Type : Research Paper
Associate Professor; Political Science Department, University of Isfahan
Discussion on the relation between theory and fact in political science as well as other sciences has been reduced to their priority and posteriority and thus the pathology of this relation has been ignored. But, this paper by using the allegory of “Procrustes’ bed”, firstly, emphasizes the pathology of this relationship. In this pathology, Procrustes’ bed refers to a situation in which researchers only select or underscore the facts that they are compatible with their theory, but they ignore incompatible facts or modify them in such a way as to be consistent with their theory. Secondly with criticizing this approach, mention also needs to be made of Popper’s falsification model, a radical approach and finally an argument for Lacatosian model. Thirdly, through the use of the Lakatosian method and analysis of the developments of three theories, namely, class theory of Marx, democratic peace theory of Kant and modernization theory, this article endeavors to offer a criteria of when to falsify a theory or modify it. The paper argues that when we confront conflicting facts that challenge to be protective, we can modify the theory and when we face with the same situation that is the hard core of a theory is challenged, we must falsify that theory. Finally, the paper at hand, by resorting to cyclical method shows how the death of a theory leads to the birth of another.