D ISTINGUISHING B ETWEEN N ORMATIVE AND E MPIRICAL
The chapter “Distinguishing between Normative and Empirical Statements” by R.
Kenneth Godwin aims to fully explain both normative statements and empirical statements, so
that the differences between them and how they each apply to political theory can be understood.
He further develops the reader’s understanding of normative and empirical statements by
combining them with the aim of making logical arguments. The point of this text is to teach
students of politics to understand how each approach is necessary to political discourse, as well
as how to use both approaches either individually (as a basis of forming political opinions) or
combined (to deduct well-reasoned arguments). There is also a less-central goal of passing on
the skill of forming reasoned arguments by the exercises and examples following the main text.
Godwin’s point of view in this chapter is well argued. He is deductive in the way that he
presents an example, asks the reader to consider it, and then makes his point in the following
paragraph. He can differentiate between normative and empirical statements using the same
example, (e.g. the first model concerning Mexican public safety) effectively instructing the
reader in how to differentiate between the two sides of one basic idea. He further instructs on
how to make well reasoned arguments by setting up a basic 3-part model (value, evidence, and
conclusion) which i