The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Academics say the darndest things….

June 16, 2009

From a recent article on social-science methodology:

For example, gravity is a trivial necessary cause of revolution, because gravity is simply always present regardless of whether or not a revolution happens.

Clearly, not everyone in my field is a science-fiction fan.

nb: someone has suggested to me that the authors mean “revolution” as in “Venus revolves around the Sun.” But gravity is certainly not a non-trivial cause of such revolution; given the context of the article, I’m pretty sure the authors use the term in the “grab the pitchfork and storm the castle” sense….

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.