The Constitution as an Axiomatic System

Vitaly Ogleznev, Valeriy Surovtsev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Constitution is considered as an informal axiomatic system. The strategy proposed by the authors rests on the following propositions: (1) axioms are considered as contextual definitions of those concepts by means of which they are formulated; and (2) the main requirement for this type of system is internal consistency. The first proposition is necessary for considering the Constitution as an informal axiomatic system, while the second is sufficient, because the approach proposed, apart from consistency, must certainly consider the requirements for formal axiomatic systems, such as independence and completeness. The authors argue that the Constitution can be compared to axiomatic constructions in modern science in the sense that is given in the research on the logic and methodology of deductive sciences. This analogy is appropriate to the extent to which constitutional provisions are interpreted as the basic elements of the legal system, just as in the formal sciences axioms are regarded as basic principles that define the main features of the formal system. This means that the Constitution itself is seen as coherent, consistent discourse that contextually defines the meaning of the basic terms of the legal system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-232
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy


  • Axiom
  • Axiomatic system
  • Consistency
  • Constitution
  • Contextual definition
  • Formal logic
  • Legal system
  • Propositional logic


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