Several years ago, in the last and lightest semester of my Computer Science degree, I spent a good deal of my free time studying YouTube videos about politics, philosophy, and sociology. One of my favorites was Professor Raymond Geuss’s lecture on the process of Alienation. In it he distinguishes between two kinds of frameworks: normative and evaluative. Both are frameworks for understanding the world, models that simplify a wild, diverse world into a manageable set of rules and components.

However, only the normative ones claim that their rules and components are in reality’s underlying skeleton. Evaluative frameworks are humbler. They offer you rules and components that, while they help in understanding the world, don’t claim to decode its blueprint. They just help you sketch a good picture.