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  1. Normative sciences are sciences that do not explain, but set a norm, an ideal, and operate with the concept of “ought”. As examples of normative sciences, ethics (the philosophical doctrine of morals and morals) and aesthetics (the philosophical doctrine of beauty) are sometimes cited. Normative sciences are contrasted with sciences that create models designed to describe the real state of affairs.

    In general, the same scientific discipline can act in both guises. For example, in economics, this is formulated as a division into normative (or regulatory) economic science and positive economic science. These terms in economics were introduced by Keynes in the late nineteenth century. Keynes wrote that normative or regulatory science is a body of knowledge related to what should be, having as its subject the ideal, not the actual. Positive economics, on the other hand, describes the real state of affairs in the economy and tries to formulate economic laws. There are many sources about normative and positive economics, for example, you can read in the book “Methods of Economic Research” by A. M. Orekhov.

    Sociologist Pitirim Sorokin distinguished between “normative sciences”and” theoretical sciences”. He defined them as follows: “The essential elements of the norm are, therefore, three attributes: will, prescription (duty) and evaluation. “Explanatory”(or theoretical) sciences study phenomena from the point of view of being as it is, normative sciences – from the point of view of norm, ought, what phenomena should be.”

    From Sorokin's point of view, normative science is a kind of early stage in the development of various scientific disciplines. In the “Public Textbook of Sociology” he wrote: “We are no longer talking about normative physics, normative chemistry, normative biology, etc. In general, any science that has reached a certain height (such as the natural sciences) does not say that “it should or should not be so”, does not order or forbid anything, but says “it is so” or “in the presence of such and such conditions, so and so happens” […]. Of course, these sciences were once normative, but little by little they got out of this state and became purely theoretical. Now biologists will no longer say that 'a bird has wings because it must fly', but that 'a bird has wings, and therefore it can fly and flies'.”

    Thus, from Sorokin's point of view, any science, even ethics, as it develops, turns from normative to theoretical. Sorokin imagined it something like this: normative ethics says, ” you should do this and that, “while theoretical ethics says,”this is good, this is evil.” It means that the latter already has some evidence that this is the case in reality, that is, it does not so much call the reader to its side, but simply states a fact.

    You can read more about Sorokin's reasoning directly in his work:

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