Internal Logic

Definition of Internal Logic

The term “internal logic” refers to the rules and principles that govern a fictional universe, a game’s universe, or a philosophical argument’s consistency. Think of internal logic like the recipe for a cake. Just like how you need to follow each step in the recipe to make sure the cake turns out right, internal logic ensures that everything in a story or system follows certain guidelines to be believable and make sense.

Another way to understand internal logic is by imagining a world that operates on a different set of physical laws. In this imagined place, maybe people can fly or talk to animals. However, for this world to feel real to us, it has to follow its own set of rules consistently. If someone breaks these rules without explanation, it’s like inventing a new step in the middle of the cake recipe – it just doesn’t fit, and it leaves us feeling confused.

Examples of Internal Logic

  • In the world of “Harry Potter”, the spells taught at Hogwarts have specific effects and requirements. This is an example of internal logic because the story establishes rules for how magic works, and these rules are followed throughout the series. It would make no sense if a spell like “Wingardium Leviosa” lifted objects in one chapter but caused them to explode in the next without any reason given.
  • Video games also rely on internal logic. If you’re playing a puzzle game where you arrange blocks and each block always falls at the same speed, that pattern is part of the game’s logic. If suddenly the blocks start floating or moving sideways without any in-game explanation, such as a new game mechanic or obstacle, it would be breaking the game’s internal logic.
  • In philosophy, a thinker might propose that all human beings strive for happiness. If all their further theories and arguments build consistently on this premise, they are maintaining internal logic. However, if they suddenly claim that some people’s sole purpose is to be unhappy, without justifying the contradiction, they disrupt the internal logic of their philosophy.

Why is it Important?

Internal logic acts as a compass in worlds that are not our own. Just like you need a trustworthy compass to navigate through unknown land, the internal logic guides us through the twists and turns of stories and systems. If the internal logic is consistent, we can dive into the fantasy world without getting jarred by inconsistencies that pull us out of the experience.

Without internal logic, we’d be constantly questioning the reality within a story, game, or philosophy, which would make it much harder to be engaged or learn from it. Imagine reading a book where characters randomly appear and disappear with no explanation, or a game where your actions have unpredictable consequences. This could not only be frustrating but it would also make the experience much less enjoyable.

Most importantly, a strong internal logic allows us to connect with the characters and their struggles, even when they’re dragons or superheroes. It’s the reason why we can get excited about a thrilling space battle or a wizard’s duel, even though we know such things aren’t part of our real world.


Discussions about consistent and logical thinking have been around for thousands of years. For instance, in ancient Greece, philosophers like Aristotle talked about ideas needing to be consistent and non-contradictory. This is a foundational aspect of internal logic. Over time, the specific term “internal logic” may not have had a single starting point but rather evolved as people recognized the need for these consistent rules and ideas.


The debate over how strict internal logic should define a narrative or philosophical argument is ongoing. While some believe that a good story can bend the rules to surprise and engage the audience, others argue that without strict adherence to internal logic, the story’s or argument’s foundation can crumble. For instance, a film might introduce a deus ex machina, a device that solves complex problems out of nowhere, which can irritate some viewers while others might not mind the unexpected twist.

In less concrete areas, such as philosophy, it can be particularly challenging to agree on what makes internal logic sound. Since these are complex ideas without a physical form, people use debate and critical thinking to test their logical consistency. When two philosophers argue, they might struggle to pinpoint where an argument breaks down, but it’s essential in ensuring that beliefs and systems stay coherent and meaningful.

Related Topics

  • World-Building: This is the process of creating the universe in which your story takes place. It includes geography, history, culture, and laws. Good world-building relies heavily on internal logic to make the world feel real and immersive.
  • Suspension of Disbelief: This concept is about how much unreal or improbable things the audience can tolerate in a story without losing interest. Well-crafted internal logic helps audiences suspend their disbelief and enjoy stories with fantastical elements.
  • Narrative Consistency: This topic is closely related to internal logic as it concerns the cohesiveness of the story’s plot, character development, and themes. When a narrative is consistent, it doesn’t contradict itself, adding to its realism and credibility.


In summary, internal logic is an invisible framework that keeps stories, games, and theories functioning smoothly. It’s a key ingredient that allows us to immerse ourselves in fiction or engage with complex ideas. By following a set of established rules, creators give us the ability to understand and accept new worlds. Good internal logic also helps us care about these worlds and the beings that inhabit them. Whether you’re saving a princess in a video game, rooting for a hero in a novel, or contemplating a philosophical idea, it’s the internal logic that maintains the illusion and makes the journey worthwhile.