Differences between philosophy and logic

Philosophy and logic are both important disciplines that have a lot in common, but there are also some key differences between them. In some cases, they are often confused with one another.

Philosophy is more concerned with the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, while logic is concerned with the rules of reasoning and argumentation. 

To understand the key difference between philosophy and logic, we will first look through their true meaning and presumably show how these two fields also complement each other.

Understanding Philosophy 

Philosophy being the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, seeks to answer questions such as “What is the nature of knowledge? What is the nature of reality? What is the nature of existence? “What is the meaning of life?” or “How can we know if what we perceive is real?”. These questions are quite subtly complex and usually difficult to answer

Philosophy uses logic and reasoning to try to understand these questions and come up with possible answers. 

There are several branches of philosophy, including ethics, logic, and metaphysics. Yes, you just saw logic!

Understanding logic 

Logic as a branch of philosophy deals with reasoning and argumentation. It studies how to structure arguments in a convincing and dialectical way. 

Logical arguments are based on a set of rules, called “logical laws,” which govern how statements and ideas can be connected. 

Logicians use these laws to determine whether an argument is valid or invalid. For example, the law of non-contradiction states that a statement cannot be both true and false at the same time. 

So, if someone makes a statement that contradicts itself, it’s considered illogical. 

Philosophy and logic have very different goals. Philosophy seeks to understand the world and find answers to big questions. 

Logic, on the other hand, seeks to evaluate the structure of arguments and find any errors in reasoning. 

Differentiating between philosophy and logic 

One way to illustrate the difference between philosophy and logic is to consider the difference between a philosopher and a logician. 

A philosopher is someone who engages in philosophical thought and discussion, while a logician is someone who studies and analyzes arguments. 

A philosopher may ask questions like “What is the meaning of life?” or “Is there a God?” A logician, on the other hand, may pose questions like “what is the validity of this argument?” or “Is this argument sound?” While both philosophers and logicians use logic, their ultimate goals are very different.

Another major difference between philosophy and logic is the relationship between theory and practice. 

Philosophy is often considered to be a more theoretical discipline, while logic is seen as more practical. Philosophy is concerned with developing theories about the nature of the world, while logic is concerned with using those theories to evaluate arguments and solve problems. 

For example, a philosopher might develop a theory about the nature of knowledge, while a logician might use that theory to determine whether a certain argument about knowledge is valid. 

Read Also: Why philosophy is important to literature 

So in contrast, philosophy is more theoretical and open-ended, while logic is more concrete and definitive. 

One final way to understand the difference between philosophy and logic is to think about their relationship to other disciplines. 

Philosophy is often considered to be a foundational discipline, which means that it provides the basis for other disciplines. 

For example, many other disciplines, like science and mathematics, use logic to structure their arguments and draw conclusions. 

Logic, on the other hand, is often considered to be a sub-discipline of philosophy. This means that logic is a specific type of philosophical thought, rather than a separate discipline in its own right.

You could say that philosophy uses logic as a tool, but logic is not a branch of philosophy. Logic is a set of rules and principles that can be applied to any topic, including philosophy. 

However, logic doesn’t ask philosophical questions or try to answer them. Instead, it’s concerned with analyzing and evaluating arguments, no matter what the topic is. 

So, you could say that philosophy uses logic as a tool, but logic is not in itself philosophical. It’s a useful tool that can be applied to many different disciplines.

All of this is not to say that philosophy and logic are completely separate from each other. In fact, there is a great deal of interplay between the two. 

Many philosophers have also been logicians, and vice versa. There is also a great deal of overlap in the types of questions that philosophers and logicians ask. 

For example, both philosophers and logicians may ask questions about the nature of truth, or the nature of good and evil. So, while philosophy and logic are different in some ways, they also have a lot in common.

Further relationship between philosophy and logic

Logic is actually a subset of philosophy. In other words, logic is a specific kind of philosophical inquiry. Logic is used in philosophy to help analyze and evaluate arguments. 

Philosophers use logical laws to determine whether a particular argument is sound or unsound. They also use logic to test the validity of certain philosophical concepts, like the existence of God or the nature of truth.

Philosophers have used logic to try to prove or disprove the existence of God in many different ways. One of the most famous arguments is called the “ontological argument.” 

This argument, first proposed by the medieval philosopher Anselm of Canterbury, argues that God must exist because the concept of God is “perfect.” 

Since perfection is a necessary property of God, and a being that exists is more perfect than one that doesn’t, God must exist. 

This argument has been debated and analyzed by many different philosophers over the years. Some have found it convincing, while others have criticized it.

One of the most common criticisms of the ontological argument is the so-called “perfect island” objection. 

This objection was first proposed by the philosopher Gaunilo of Marmoutiers. He argued that the same logic used to prove the existence of God could also be used to prove the existence of a perfect island. 

Since the perfect island doesn’t exist, the ontological argument must be flawed. Other philosophers have criticized the ontological argument on the basis that it relies on circular reasoning, or because it’s based on a false premise.

This is just to show how philosophers use logic to test their ideas and arguments. Logic is a very powerful tool, and it can help us to think more clearly and critically. 

One of the most famous philosophers who used logic in his work was Aristotle. He was a student of Plato, and he developed his system of logic, called “Aristotelian logic.” This system is still used today in philosophy and other fields like mathematics and computer science.


While there seems to be a huge difference between philosophy and logic, it is ideal to understand that philosophy works hand in hand with logic. 

In fact, most philosophers would argue that logic is a fundamental part of philosophy. Without logic, it would be reasonably herculean to analyze and evaluate arguments. 

To wrap up, logic is also used in other branches of philosophy, like epistemology (the study of knowledge) and metaphysics (the study of reality). So, while logic is a crucial tool for philosophers, philosophy isn’t necessary for logic.

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