Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Normative Statements are not Objective or Subjective

The statements which express moral, political, and aesthetic ideals are neither subjective nor objective. They are normative. 

The subjective statements represent the matters of personal taste and feelings; for example: “I like black coffee,” “The political situation makes me feel sad,” “Modern art is rubbish.” The objective statements are logical and descriptive; for example: “The dog is barking,” “2+2=4,” “Lenin was the founder of the Soviet Union." The normative statements are the statements of value—they are not verifiable and they cannot be connected to personal states of the mind; for example: “Liars are sinners,” “Honesty is the best policy,” “Capitalism is better than socialism,” “Rembrandt was a great artist.” 

A fully-rational system of morality, politics, and art cannot be developed because the normative statements are not based on objective criteria—they transcend rationality. The origin of some of the normative statements can be traced to the ancient and the prehistoric times.

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