A principle is a law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 or rule
Rule, ruler, ruling usually refers to standards for activities. They may refer to:- Human activity :* Business rule, a rule pertaining to the structure or behavior internal to an organization* Game rules, rules that define how a game is played...

 that has to be, or usually is to be followed, or can be desirably followed, or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature or the way that a system is constructed. The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose, and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored.

Examples of principles:
  • a descriptive comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption
  • a normative rule or code of conduct,
  • a law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artificial device.

Principle as cause

The principle of any effect
Effect may refer to:* A result or change of something** List of effects** Cause and effect, an idiom describing causalityIn pharmacy and pharmacology:* Drug effect, a change resulting from the administration of a drug...

 is the cause that produces it.

Depending on the way the cause is understood the basic law governing that cause may acquire some distinction in its expression.

Principle of Causality, as efficient cause

The efficient cause is the one that produces the necessary effect, as long as the necessary and sufficient conditions are provided.

The scientific process generally consists of establishing a cause by analyzing its effect upon objects. In this way, a description can be established to explain what principle brought about the change-effect. For this reason the principle of cause is considered to be a determining factor in the production of facts.

With the belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 that "every effect has a cause", it's considered that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. This is considered as the principle of causality. It was formulated by Aristotle as "Everything that moves is moved by another". This principle is used as a powerful argument for the potential existence of a creator-god dues to the regressive nature of the principle, which inevitably requires a first-cause. The principle of causality is often associated with the similar, though distinct, principle of sufficient reason, according to which, there is a reason why everything is the particular way it is rather than some other way.

Principle as a final cause

Final cause is the end, or goal, which guides one to take the necessary actions to obtain it.

For that there needs to be an intelligence capable of conceiving the end and realizing that certain actions must be taken to achieve the goal.

Science does not recognize the finality of the natural causes as a guiding principle of investigation.

It is also understood therefore that the principle guides the action as a norm or rule of behavior, which produces two types of principles.

Principle as scientific law

Laws Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

. Laws Statistic
A statistic is a single measure of some attribute of a sample . It is calculated by applying a function to the values of the items comprising the sample which are known together as a set of data.More formally, statistical theory defines a statistic as a function of a sample where the function...

s. Laws Biological
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

Laws of nature are those that can not be proven explicitly, however we can measure and quantify them observing the results that they produce. (Vague or unclear statement).

Principle as moral law

It represents a set of values that orientate and rule the conduct of a concrete society. The law establishes an obligation in the individual's conscience
Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgement may derive from values or norms...

 that belongs to the cultural field in which such values are accepted. It supposes the liberty of the individual as cause, that acts without external coercion, through a process of socialization
Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies...


Principle as a juridic law

It represents a set of values that inspire the written norms that organize the life of a society submitting to the powers of an authority, generally the State. The law establishes a legal obligation, in a coercive way; it therefore acts as principle condition
-Logic:* Logical conditional* Necessary and sufficient condition, condition of another means that the former statement is true if and only if the latter is true-Computer programming:* Conditions, a generalization of exceptions in exception-handling...

ing of the action that limits the liberty of the individuals.

Principle of Sufficient Reason

This is based on the truth or intelligibility of the being. The being has an identity and is intelligible, in virtue that it is. (The intelligibility is the identity of the being with intelligence.) That in virtue of which the being is intelligible, is called the reason or fundament of being. Here is the ontological principle: ‘’Every being has enough reason’’. Without this enough reason, the identity with oneself would be lost, becoming a non-being and therefore nothing. If a being lacked enough reason, of explication, it wouldn't be intelligible, conceiving itself as an absurd unreal non-being.

Principle of Identity

This comes in consequence from the characteristic of identity of the being. The being is the being, and whoever denies that statement would be against the previously exposed. However, saying "what is, is what is" would seem, as a trial, merely analytical (A = A), but one realizes that in every sentence there is a direct relation between the predicate and the subject. To say "the earth is round", corresponds to a direct relation between the subject and the predicate. Taking this to the sentence "the being is the being", we realize the principle of identity that the being possesses.

Principle of contradiction

"One thing can't be and not be at the same time, under the same aspect."
Example: It is not possible that in exactly the same moment it rains and doesn't rain (in the same place).
see Law of noncontradiction
Law of noncontradiction
In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction is the second of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both at the same time be true, e.g...

Principle of excluded middle

The principle of the excluding third or "principium tertium exclusum" is a principle of the traditional logic formulated canonically by Leibniz as: either A is B or A isn't B. It is read the following way: either P is true, or its denial ¬P is.
It is also known as "tertium non datur" ('A third (thing) is not). Classically it is considered to be one of the most important fundamental principles or laws of thought (along with the principles of identity, no contradiction and sufficient reason). see Law of excluded middle
Law of excluded middle
In logic, the law of excluded middle is the third of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that for any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is....


See also

  • Axiom
    In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

  • Corollary
    A corollary is a statement that follows readily from a previous statement.In mathematics a corollary typically follows a theorem. The use of the term corollary, rather than proposition or theorem, is intrinsically subjective...

  • Deduction
    Deductive reasoning
    Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

  • Law of excluded middle
    Law of excluded middle
    In logic, the law of excluded middle is the third of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that for any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is....

  • Law of noncontradiction
    Law of noncontradiction
    In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction is the second of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both at the same time be true, e.g...

  • Logical consequence
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