I had some questions like:

Do philosophers think that the rules of the universe are always logical or can they be somehow divorced from logic? The rules of physics seem to follow the laws of logic, so do philosophers believe there is a connection between them, and if so what? Do brains really follow the laws of thought?

Take, for instance, a banana. A banana can be inside or outside a closed box but not both at the same time. Note that this a logical statement of the exclusive or:

The truth table of A XOR B shows that it outputs true whenever the inputs differ:


0 0 0 can't be nowhere
0 1 1 can be outside
1 0 1 can be inside
1 1 0 can't be both places

In other words, how do the laws of logic relate to the laws of the universe since bananas seem to obey laws of physics and laws of logic at the same time?

  • The "rules of the universe" are neither logical nor alogical. Logic describes how we reason, it does not apply to the universe.
    – Conifold
    Nov 15 '20 at 8:48
  • What rules" ? Some example, please... Nov 15 '20 at 10:34
  • 1
    Who is to say the universe has rules, and that the rules aren't just an awareness of the mind's function of building a representation of the universe? Wouldn't this explain why the rules of the universe are expressed in the rules of logic?
    – J D
    Nov 15 '20 at 16:32
  • You might be interested in SEP: Laws of Nature.
    – J D
    Nov 15 '20 at 16:35

it depends on what you mean by "Logical". Do you mean whether the laws hold regardless of any changes in circumstances such as Newton's Law of Gravitation? OR that the laws are derived via logical means?

Philosophers sometimes differ on their conception of meaning and there have been arguments in the Philosophy of Logic about how much logic there are, with views such as Logical Pluralism, Logical Monism and Logical Nihilism. It is worth checking out the last link as the views presented by Russell discussed what can be meant by logic or logical laws in trying to answer the question if it is possible for no logical laws to exist at all.


By "logical," I assume you mean orderly. If so, the answer is all over the map.

The desire to either discover something orderly or impose order on chaos appears to be human nature. However, a philosopher named Albert Camus is known for his principle of absurdism.

From The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article "[Albert Camus]"...1

Readers could hardly miss his description of how the impulse for emancipation turned into organized, rational murder as the rebel-become-revolutionary attempted to order an absurd universe.

The comment refers to one of Camus' books, The Rebel.

Philosophers who are/were theists (one who believes in a god or gods) are presumably more likely to believe in an orderly universe.

  • 'The Rebel' is a polemic on the nature and characteristics of rebellion. It's subject matter is politics and the apparently insurmountable difficulty of converting a revolutionary movement into a political one, as in the French Revolution which devolved into to 'The Terror' and the Bolshevic Revolution which ended in Stalin's reign of terror and mass annihilation of the populace. It had nothing to do with 'laws of nature'
    – user37981
    Nov 15 '20 at 19:26
  • Thanks for the tip. Did Camus in fact believe the universe was without order then, or was his absurdism limited to people? Nov 15 '20 at 19:38
  • Blomstrom- I'm not qualified to answer that. I don't believe that Camus produced any philosophical writing. And fiction or even expository prose is always up to interpretation. Regards,
    – user37981
    Nov 16 '20 at 4:30

We recently discussed 'Does reality have axioms?' and I think my answer there applies to this too Does reality have axioms?

We see patterns, in our minds and the world. That is what our minds are built to do. Logic is within definitions, like sets of axioms. But the universe is not - when it is alogical or illogical we know our understanding of the patterns is wrong, we amend our model, and the set of assumptions we call axioms.

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