Thinking from First Principles

First Principles is what you get when you strip something down into its immutable components in terms of idea and concept. First principles stand on their own and cannot be deduced from other first principles. You could also picture first principles as a foundation or fundamentals. First principles are atomic in nature.

First principles is whatever that we get after removing the fluff out of something It is what is essential and what that remains at the core. First Principles as Constraints

Thinking from First Principles is a [[ Mental Model ]] that breaks down something to its core components and then using it to build something from the ground up. First principles thinking can be seen as an analysis of what worked and what did not and why, from a deeper perspective. It is not the analysis of what is happening at the surface. What is first principles thinking?

By default people resort to thinking or Reasoning from Analogy.

There is a lot of effort involved when thinking or reasoning from the first principles. A good example for first principles thinking is the cook and the chef. A chef knows his ingredients and their interactions, mechanics of flavour and fundamental processes of cooking. These are the first principles of cooking. A chef just manipulates or play with these first principles to create a new recipe. On the other hand, a cook doesn’t know or think about the first principles, he prefers to follow the recipe as it is, perhaps slightly changing it as becomes more confident.


  1. Three ways of Reasoning
  2. How does first principle thinking help us?

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