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Positive and Normative Science

Positive and Normative Science - there is a limit within...

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Positive and Normative Science Whether economics is a science or a subject of the humanities; and whether it is positive or a prescriptive science is a frequently debated issue. All material sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics are pure, abstract and positive sciences. But social sciences like economics, politics, philosophy, history, etc., attempt to analyze human behavior, actions, motives and desires. Human behavior is quite unpredictable. Therefore the degree of positivity and accuracy is expected to be lower in social sciences. Yet the science of economics enjoys the benefit of quantification . Commodities such as machines, tools, land, fruit, clothing, etc. as well as services such as those of teachers , doctors, technicians, etc. which create utility , want and satisfaction are quantifiable. Hence economics has a slight edge over other social sciences. Though economic scientists have all along been striving to put it on a positive scientific footing,
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Unformatted text preview: there is a limit within which this can be possible. In its initial stage, economics as a subject was introduced in the atmosphere of ’ laissez-faire ’ which was mainly dominated by free enterprise and individualism. But in the 20th century after the two world wars (1914-18 and 1939-44) and the period of the Great Depression (1929-33), the significance of individualism was considerably reduced. It has partly been substituted by large-scale public and governmental activity. Today all over the world, public authorities have been allocating 30 to 35 percent of the national income ( Gross Domestic Product- G.D.P.) and national resources towards public expenditure alone. Since a great deal of public expenditure should follow the basic criterion of economic efficiency, this has led to an ever increasing interest in the analysis of the economic policy ....
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