Dinosaur Comics and Concept Building

This week in Jim Mahoney’s Political Science 310: Methods of Political Inference course, we are exploring the formulation of concepts for qualitative research.

To make my TA sections a bit more interesting, I am having my students this week explore the ladder of generality, methods of analytical differentiation, and concept stretching in part through an analysis of this episode of Dinosaur Comics

dinosaur-sandwich-ocracy

  1. How are T-Rex’s thoughts on sandwichocracy related to the ladder of generality?
  2. What forms of analytical differentiation are T-Rex, Utahraptor, and Dromiceiomimus employing in their concept-building exercise?
  3. Do they raise any concerns with regard to conceptual stretching?

Please discuss. I am eternally grateful to my friend and colleague, Mitch Troup, who introduced me to this delightful comic

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