When a person wants to postulate something, what are the rules and best practices he can adhere too?
How should the idea one is trying to express be formulated?

  • Could you give an example of something you would consider postulating?
    – Lucas
    May 10 '14 at 13:15
  • 4
    I think there are no "practical" rules. You have to look at mathematical theories to learn how they are "built up". Basically, you must ahe primitive concepts (undefined) and defined ones. If we agree that "postulates" are the "assumption" of your argument or theory, you must use them to state "basic" properties or laws regarding the primitive concepts. May 10 '14 at 14:55
  • 1
    Do you perhaps mean abduction
    – Lucas
    May 10 '14 at 22:03
  • There is one definitive rule (unless you are proving the existence of god) number of conclusions is desired to be bigger than number of postulates. At least by one.
    – Asphir Dom
    May 15 '14 at 20:58
  • @AsphirDom could you please elaborate any further, Why? May 15 '14 at 21:47

If you want to use formal logic as inspiration, there are three appropriate ways to use postulates:

First, you can postulate something, show that accepting that postulate leads to an impossibility, and thus show the postulate is false.

Second, you can postulate something, draw a conclusion, then postulate the opposite, draw the same conclusion, and thus show the conclusion is sure.

Third, you can make a postulate, and draw a conclusion, and thus show that if your postulate were true, your conclusion would be as well.


Any idea you want to postulate should be proposed in such a way as to make criticism as easy as possible so that it can be eliminated if it is wrong. This leads to many methodological constraints as explained in "Logic of Scientific Discovery" by Karl Popper. For example, an idea should have implications for some issue beyond the problem it was originally invented to solve partly because if it has no such implications there is no way to eliminate it if it is wrong. For more details of the rules Popper proposed see


and references therein.

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