17 julio, 2024

What are the Supreme Logical Principles?

The supreme logical principles They are those premises that govern the thought process, giving it order, meaning and rigor. According to traditional logic, these principles are so broad that they apply to mathematics, physics, and all other branches of science.

The supreme logical principles reflect facets of the objects of the material world so simple and evident that they occur in all of them. Although there are those who say that they are a Western arbitrariness, the truth is that they are principles as certain as they are universal.

On the one hand, the supreme logical principles are self-evident, and on the other hand, pTo deny them you must base yourself on them. That is, they are unavoidable.

The importance of these principles is that it is necessary to reason well to find correct solutions to the problems that are being analyzed. Knowing the principles or rules that guarantee correct reasoning helps to solve possible problems in a better way.

The science that has been dedicated to investigate and reflect on these principles is logic. This discipline can be:

to) theoretical: because it provides methods to differentiate between correct and incorrect reasoning.

b) Practice: because at the same time that it allows to identify the correct reasoning, it also makes it possible to make a value judgment on the incorrect reasoning.

What are the supreme logical principles?

Following the postulates of traditional logic, the supreme logical principles are:

The identity principle

«To that»

This is a principle that implies that an object is what it is and not another.

All material objects have something that identifies them, something inherent and invariable despite the changes they may suffer over time.

This means that the challenge is to make a clear distinction between the proper characteristics of objects and to use the correct terms or words to describe those qualities.

It is important to point out that this principle refers to objects or things, so it is an ontological principle.

It is also necessary to take into account that the meaning of the words used in the reasoning must remain the same.

What is crucial is that it is fulfilled, as José Ferrater Mora indicates, that “a belongs to all a”. That is to say, that the specific characteristics (a) belong to the individual in a unique way (a).

Another way of formulating the principle of identity is:

if p, then p

p, if and only if p

The principle of non-contradiction

This is the principle according to which it is impossible for a proposition to be true and false at the same time and under the same circumstances.

Once a proposition is assumed to be true or false, logic requires that propositions derived from it be accepted as true or false, as the case may be.

This implies that if in the course of an inference, the value of truth or falsity of a proposition changes with respect to what was assumed at the beginning, then that argument is invalidated.

This means that, once a certain truth value (true or false) is assumed, for the propositions that are being considered, that value must remain the same throughout its development.

A way to formulate this principle would be: «It is impossible for A to be B and not to be B, at the same moment.»

It could happen that the object is something now, and that it is not that something later. For example, it may be that a book is later rubbish, loose leaves or ashes.

While the principle of identity dictates that a thing is one thing, this principle of non-contradiction indicates that a thing is not two things at the same time.

The principle of the excluded middle

Just as the principle of non-contradiction entails indicating that a proposition is true or false, this principle implies selecting between only two options: “A is equal to B” or “A is not equal to B”.

This means that everything is or is not. There is no third option.

It rains or it doesn’t rain, for example.

That is, between two propositions that contradict each other, only one is true and one is false.

For an argument to be correct, it is crucial to rely on the truth or falsity of one of the propositions. Otherwise, it falls into contradiction.

This principle can be represented or graphed as follows:

If it is true that «S is P», then it is false that «S is not P».

The principle of sufficient reason

According to this principle, nothing happens without a sufficient reason for it to happen that way and not otherwise. This principle complements the non-contradiction principle and grounds the truth of a proposition.

In fact, this principle is the cornerstone of experimental science, since it establishes that everything that happens is due to a determining reason and that means that if that reason is known, what will happen in the future could also be known in advance. .

From this perspective, there are events that appear random only because their causes are not known. However, the fact that these causes are unknown does not mean that they do not exist. They simply reveal the limitation of the human intellect.

The principle of sufficient reason implies finding the explanation of events. Find the why of things. It is about supporting the explanations that are made about the different past, present or future events.

This principle also supports the three previous ones because for a proposition to be true or false, there must be a reason.

The German philosopher Wilhem Leibniz claimed that «nothing exists without a determining cause or reason.» In fact, for Leibniz, this principle and that of non-contradiction govern all human reasoning.

Aristotle was the one who proposed almost all the supreme logical principles, except for the principle of sufficient reason that was proposed by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, in his work theodicy.


Di Casto Elisabetta (2006). Logic reasoning. Retrieved from: conocimientosfundamentales.unam.mx.
Heidegger, Martin (s/f). The identity principle. Retrieved from: revistas.javeriana.edu.co.
Moreland, J. (2015). What Are the Three Laws of Logic? Retrieved from: arcapologetics.org.
Ramirez, Axel (2012). Philosophy II: The supreme logical principles. Retrieved from: filosofiaminervaruizcardona.blogspot.com.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2000) Aristotle’s Logic. Retrieved from: plato.stanford.edu.
National Autonomous University of Mexico (2013). Supreme logical principles. Retrieved from: objetos.unam.mx.

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