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In philosophy, nomology (from the Greek νόμος, law, and λόγος, reason) is concerned with the thinking process of the mind. The Oxford English Dictionary defines nomology as the 'branch of science and philosophy concerned with the laws or principles governing the operation of the mind, especially as defined by custom or culture'.

The name nomology may come from Aristotle (Aristotle, 1995). The ‘-ology’ suffix implies ‘order’, ‘word’ and ‘reason’, and is about being subjectively reasonable or ‘logical’ as in sociology and psychology. The ‘nom-’ part implies ‘rule’ and ‘law’, and is about being objectively lawful or ‘nomical’ as in economics. A nomological approach requires taking account of both subjective and objective aspects in a decision. Nomology provides the framework for building a nomological network of relationships between constructs in decision making.[1]

In 19th century nomology has been described as one of two grand divisions of philosophy, the other being metaphysics.[2]

"The Laws by which our faculties are governed, to the end that we may obtain a criterion by which to judge or to explain their procedures and manifestations, we have a science which we may call the Nomology of Mind, - Nomological Psychology”.[3]


  1. ^ Brugha, Cathal MacSwiney (February 2015). "Foundation of Nomology". European Journal of Operational Research. 240 (3): 734–747. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2014.07.042.  – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)
  2. ^ Tappan, H. P. (1855). Elements of Logic; Together with an Introductory View of Philosophy in General and a Preliminary View of the Reason. New York: D. Appleton and Company. pp. 70–85. 
  3. ^ William Hamilton (1877) Lectures of Metaphysics and Logic, William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London.