SCIENCE VS. HUMANTITIES
Megan makes some interesting arguments on the distinctions between these mindsets. While I agree with much of her argument, it falls apart in the final analysis. She holds economics up as the epitome of science and contrasts it not only with the study of literature, but with political science and sociology, which she incorrectly lumps in with the humanties.
This is a common argument and one that I often had to engage in when teaching the Intro to PoliSci course. While I agree that political science is in some sense a misnomer, it does employ the scientific methodology much more than Megan and others realize. Her analysis is true of political philosophy/theory, which employs rhetoric and can be rather normative, but it doesn’t apply to much of the rest of the discipline. If all one means by “economics” is econometric analysis then, yes, it is more scientific than most of political science simply because one can isolate far fewer variables. Further, by the standards of, say, quantum physics, economics is hardly a science, as its predictive value is minimal. The reason isn’t so much failure of methodology but, again, because economics is a hell of a lot more complicated than physics–way more variables. I’d argue that political science is more complicated than economics for the same reason. Indeed, economics is, in a sense, a subset of political science since economic variables have to be taken into account in a good deal of political analysis.