Eigenlogik in German means that a subsystem has its own set of rules determining its phenomenological behavior. E.g. in sociology, a social group of humans shows a group behavior based on rules/laws of psychology. You can't derive it from the underlying physical laws of atoms and molecules that comprise humans. So an Eigenlogik often occurs in emergent systems.

The German eigen- as a prefix in English is quite common. Eigenvectors, -matrices.

Is there a special analogon or should one use simply eigenlogic, maybe intrinsic/immanent/inherent logic?

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    I think there's a good question in here, but direct translation questions are off topic. Could you maybe edit your question so that this is more on-topic?
    – user10893
    Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 21:21
  • @simchona i knew it no good style, just thought in this case ok as eigen is commonly used and known in English? hmmmmm, will edit.... :)
    – Hauser
    Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 21:24
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    I think this is a fine question, and it is as on-topic as any other phrase-request or single-word-request (most of which are less interesting). The new summary is a bit better than the original one, but any further editing (or nit-picking) would just be a waste of everyone’s time. Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 16:19
  • Psychology doesn't really have any rules or laws, and sociology isn't derived from a set of rules/laws, it's really more of a set of observations. Economics might be a better example but even that is full of guesswork. I know it's just an example but it's quite a confusing and misleading one I think. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 8:47
  • I am inclined to think that there is not a single word that is a good substitute for eigenlogik. This isn't uncommon in the case of German words because the German language combines multiple word components into compound words in many instances, when English would use a phrase rather than a compound word to express the same idea.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


In psychology, implicit may be the word. It means 'before conscious thought takes place' or 'inherent to the organism', but as a result of conditioning, rather than by instinct alone. You can learn more about this at Project Implicit®.

  • I thought 'intrinsic' was the word. I had them confused. It still may be worth investigating. Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 2:31

I would suggest the term autonomous, coming from latin terms that point exactly to the same meaning as your referred Eigenlogik, and being currently used in different scientific and philosophic disciplines concerned with (broadly defined) agency.

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    Interesting answer, micerinos, although both autos and nomos are Greek rather than Latin. The answer would be more self-contained (and therefore stronger) if it included a dictionary definition (citing the dictionary you use) of autonomous that backs up your contention of its relevance to the posted question. Please consider adding such a definition to your answer; I will upvote it if you do.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 19:41

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