A nomenclature is a system of names or signs, or both, used in any field of knowledge. Such systems are of value to scientists in a field if they enable positions to be seen more clearly or distinctions to be drawn more readily.
In a recent article, Huntington Cairns says: “There prevails, secondly, confusion with respect to the instrument—linguistics—with which the anthropologist, the jurist, or the social scientist must pursue his investigations and through whose medium he must state his conclusions. … But once the social scientist passes from these simple aspects to the realm of theory, linguistics becomes a problem and it is in his struggle with this problem that he is most envious of the symbolism of the mathematician.”1
Confusion and uncertainty appear to be present in several sections of political science. Linguistics is a problem for us in theory; in addition, it is a serious one in teaching and in the field of research.
When a problem appears in a field of knowledge which handicaps effective work, experiments are in order, not only to analyze the phenomenon itself, but, in addition, to find ways or means by which the causes producing the unfortunate circumstance may be removed, or at least reduced. Can the apparent confusion and uncertainty among political scientists concerning the meaning of terms, labels, or intellectual positions be reduced? This is an important problem which directs our attention to the possibility of developing a nomenclature for political science.