Reasoning by first principles is useful when: - Deepstash

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Reasoning by first principles is useful when:

  • Doing something for the first time.
  • Dealing with complexity.
  • Trying to understand a situation that you’re having problems with. 

In all of these areas, your thinking gets better when you stop making assumptions and you stop letting others frame the problem for you.

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Analogies are beneficial; they make complex problems easier to communicate and increase understanding. Using them, however, limits our beliefs about what’s possible and allows people to argue without ever exposing our (faulty) thinking.

  • Clarifying your thinking and explaining the origins of your ideas (Why do I think this?);
  • Challenging assumptions (How do I know this is true?)
  • Looking for evidence (How can I back this up? )
  • Considering alternative perspectives (What might...

Breaking down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up.

If we never learn to take something apart, test the assumptions, and reconstruct it, we end up trapped in what other people tell us.

...is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone. We cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption.

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