What we need is a new genre, a metaphorical language that is coherent to both the scientist and the metaphysician.
The theoretical perspective involves a brief survey of the general concept of principle as well as an analysis of different ﬂavors of principles. A key distinction is made between scientiﬁc principles and normative principles. Scientiﬁc principles are laws or facts of nature and form the fundamental truths that one can build upon. Normative principles are rules of conduct that guide/restrict behavior. While scientiﬁc principles hold “naturally”, normative principles need explicit “enforcement”.ARCHITECTURE: Those properties of an artifact that are necessary and sufﬁcient to meet its essential requirements.
POLICY: A purposive course of action followed by a set of actor(s) to guide and determine present and future decisions, with an aim of realizing goals.
SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLE: A law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artifact.
NORMATIVE PRINCIPLE: A declarative statement that normatively prescribes a property of something.
ARTIFACT: Something created by humans usually for a practical purpose.
Normative principles in this phase can best be referred to as being a credo.
CREDO: A normative-principle expressing a fundamental belief.
Once credos have been (re)formulated such that they are speciﬁc enough, we can start to refer to them as a norm.
NORM: A normative principle in the form of a speciﬁc and measurable statement.
It should be noted that the distinction between architecture and design is orthogonal to the distinction between requirement (what),normative principle(declarative how) and instruction(operational how).
The term principle is said to originate from the Latin word of principium (Meriam-Webster 2003), which means ‘origin’, ‘beginning’ or ‘ﬁrst cause’. As summarized in Paauwe (2010), Vitruvius, an architect in ancient Rome, already used the concept of principles to explain what is true and indisputable, and should apply to everyone. Vitruvius considered principles as the elements, the laws of nature that produce speciﬁc results. For instance, he observed how certain principles of the human body, such as symmetry and proportion, ensure ‘perfection’.
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