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1 A standard which is statistically determined or is derived from a number of cases. The statistically normal means simply that which occurs most frequently. The confusing phrase normal distribution relates to this sense, not to sense 2, nor to the everyday meaning of ‘normal’.

2 A standard embodying a judgement about what should be the case. Hans Kelsen's theory of law portrayed it as a structure of such norms, containing statements about what ought to be done and what ought to be not done. Practical discourse about politics contains normative judgements which it is one of the purposes of political theory to examine. The two meanings may be confused with each other and with everyday usage, for example when normative weight is placed on behaving ‘normally’.

Andrew Reeve


Subjects: Politics.

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